“Then Anna ran up to her son, threw her arms around him, and said to him, “Now that I have seen you again, son, I am ready to die!” And she sobbed aloud.”
When Tobit saw his son, he threw his arms around him and wept. He exclaimed, “I can see you, son, the light of my eyes!” ”
“The great crowd heard this with delight.”
I’ve been thinking about seeing a lot lately. I have an elderly friend, whom I love dearly, who recently lost sight in his right eye. Far from being bitter, he said of his condition, “at least I still have my left one.” I began to reflect on how I take my own site for granted. After looking at the readings for today, I thought of those people in my own life who, although I see them every day, I’ve lost sight of. I saw (no pun intended) how I often close my eyes to those I am most close to. They may be somebody I live with, work with, or just interact with on a daily basis. But, because they are so familiar to me, I no longer see them as they truly are.
In the first reading both Anna and Tobit rejoice when they see their son again. He had gone on a great journey and had returned safely. Just the sight of him was enough to make them weep. When someone we love is gone from us, it is easy to miss them and wish they were near again. But I know I often lose track of many people in my life, even when they are still near to me. And this doesn’t even include those people whom I choose not to see. The person in front of me driving too slowly, the young man bagging my groceries at the store, the clerk at the DMV. I sometimes forget to see them as who they are, as children of God.
The Gospel speaks of seeing something familiar as new as well. Jesus takes a well-known verse from Scripture, one that his audience is well acquainted with. And he shows them a new way to look at it, to see it. And this fills them with delight.
My prayer for today is that I allow Jesus to open my eyes. That I see those around me as if for the first time. That I listen for his voice when reading Scripture, that He may show me a new way of seeing that which is familiar.
Talib Huff is a volunteer and presenter at Christ the King Retreat Center in Citrus Heights, California.