Jesus Christ, Optometrist?
I first read The Little Prince my senior year of high school. Yeah, yeah, it’s a kids’ book, I know. Since then, I’ve bought my own copy (in English even!) and I read it once a year. The lessons for us to find in that little book would astound you!
A Reading From The Letter Of Saint Exupery To The Children
In one episode of the book, the Little Prince tamed and befriended a fox. Eventually, the two had to part ways. “‘Good-bye,’ said the fox. ‘Here is my secret. It’s quite simple: One sees clearly with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.'”
There you have it – the secret to life: One sees clearly with the heart. But to be honest, if that is the secret to life, then I think I need glasses. Seeing with the heart is difficult, at best, and seeing clearly with the heart is a really tall order.
I can’t even count the number of times that I have tried to see things with my eyes, only to remain clueless because I couldn’t see the truth with my heart. I guess that doesn’t make me too different from the apostles in this weekend’s Gospel.
They Wouldn’t Know the Truth if It Bit Them On the Nose
This weekend we read about the two apostles who were traveling the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. They were engrossed in a conversation about the recent resurrection event when they were joined by a man who took part in their conversation. What the apostles didn’t see was that this man was Jesus Christ.
As their discussion continued, Jesus began to break open the scriptures to teach the two apostles. The man they called “Rabbi” and “Teacher” not that long ago was right there with them, teaching them. And yet they STILL didn’t recognize him!
Something must have opened their hearts, though, and because they invited Jesus to join them that night. It wasn’t until they broke bread together that the apostles saw clearly that this man to whom they opened their hearts and homes was Jesus.
Life Through Christ-Colored Glasses
Just like those apostles, we all sometimes fail to see Jesus in our lives, because we are too busy looking with our eyes. There are so many ways that he is present in our lives, but some of these ways require us to readjust our vision of Christ and look with our hearts.
Do you have your glasses on now? Good. Look around. Where do you see Christ? He’s there in the Eucharist, when the bread and wine become his flesh and blood. Christ is there with us when we are together in liturgy, in prayer, whenever we gather in his name as we have heard in Matthew 18:20. He is also there in the poor, the hungry, the sick, and the imprisoned from Matthew 25:40. And if Christ is one with God and the Holy Spirit, and God is love (1 John 4:7-8), then Jesus is present in the love that we show to others and that they show to us.
Pretty amazing isn’t it, to see Christ in all these different places that we never knew to look? The challenge of seeing him at work in our lives is to remember to look with our hearts, and not with our eyes.
And so, when the Little Prince returned to planet B-612, he took with him the lesson that the fox gave him. The apostles too, learned to look with their hearts after their experience with Jesus at Emmaus. So I have one more question for you: Have you made your appointment with Jesus Christ, Optometrist?
Do you have any stories that you go back to over and over again? What do you take away from them?
In what ways do you experience the real presence of Christ in your life?
Have you ever had a time when you couldn’t see the truth because you could only see what was in front of you?
Original article by Jacki Popadich, 2002 – 2020.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.