New Vision

4th Sunday of Lent | March 22, 2020

See today’s readings here. This homily was preached online due to Covid-19. The archive of all of Fr. Brian’s homilies can be found here: Salesian Sermons


So I have never been one to really use Facetime.

It always seemed so unnecessary. Why do I need to see them? I can hear them just fine.

    And let’s be real.  I was usually multi-tasking and didn’t want the person to know they did     not have my undivided attention.

    Plus, my room is usually a mess and no one needs to see that.

But these past few days, everything has changed.

And I find myself facetiming multiple times a day.

Looking into the faces of the ones I love. The ones that I cannot be with at this moment.

    Content to watch their smile, hear their voice, know that they are ok.

But the funny thing is, I began to notice all types of things in these phone calls.  Some things that I had forgotten. Some things I had never known

Like the fact that my one former student is a diehard hockey fan, as evidenced by the Redwings memorabilia displayed proudly behind him.

    Or how far along my sister in law is in her pregnancy.  How much closer my family is to        welcoming my 1st niece into the world.

    The fact that my cousin who I thought was working from home is at a Children’s hospital        in the middle of this crisis.

    Or how much light streams into my aunt and uncle’s new home.

Things that had always been true.

But I was finally allowing myself to see them.

I thought about these Facetime revelations as I reflected on this beautiful gospel for this weekend.

For the journey to sight is never a once and done experience.  But rather a gradual unfolding of truth as we see more clearly the world as it is.  Ourselves as we are. Our God as our God is.

I think of the young man in the Gospel and I am inspired by his journey.

    For each time he is questioned, he sees who Jesus is with more clarity.

    And as he discovers this truth, he becomes more confident in his ability to share it.

And in his journey, we are given a model of our own.

Each of us has our blind spots.

We look at ourselves and only see the scars or the failures, the insecurities or doubts, the fears or the wounds.

We see the other and immediately form our judgment, our stereotype. We believe the gossip or the innuendo. We assume the worst intention. We stand in fear because of the color of their skin, the way they dress, the language they speak, who they choose to love or who they vote for.

We see the world and we are afraid, anxious. We suddenly feel isolated and alone. Adrift in a stormy sea, where viruses and financial ruin seem to batter us from either side.

But this Gospel is our reminder to open our eyes and see the truth.

    The truth of who we are, as individuals and as a people.

    People who are full of potential, capable of amazing acts of generosity and kindness.         Strength and compassion.  Courage and selflessness.

People who are chosen and called. Blessed and beloved.

The truth that this world is a beautiful place, full of grace and goodness. A place where birds still sing, the sun still shines, and life is continually born anew as plants burst into bloom and families still welcome children with joy.

The truth that our God stands beside us through the storm. Bearing the load of the crosses we carry. Gently whispering into our ears. Be not afraid. For I am with you always.

My friends, each of us has been led into the desert this year in ways we could never have foreseen just a few weeks ago.

But our journey is not over.  

So let us continue forward with confidence, trusting in the new vision we are granted this night.

May God be Praised.

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