12 April 2007

All Eyes on Jesus

Jesus asks his disciples, in today's Gospel, "And why do questions arise in your hearts?" It is hard to imagine how the disciples must have felt. And we have no window into an answer since Luke does not give us any indication that they had a chance to reply. Jesus immediately shows them his wounds to reassure them that it is indeed he himself. A reminder to us all that a posture which keeps our eyes focused on the Lord is essential. Later in the Gospel we learn that "he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures." Only when we have fixed our gaze on the Lord can we be in a position to have our minds and hearts opened to his word.
When the rubber hits the proverbial road of life, this is a helpful practice. We might be tempted to become frustrated with an inconsiderate co-worker; we might struggle to maintain our patience with a family member whose memory is failing; perhaps a friend is feeling under the weather and is unusually ornery. Sometimes we are faced with a challenging decision and we are unsure about how we should act. St. Francis de Sales, in giving advice about how to make a decision in accord with God's will, recommends that once we have consulted a few trusted people, we make a firm decision and -- keeping our eyes on the Lord -- stand firm, not allowing questions to distract us.
". . . come to a decision in the name of God. After that we must not call our choice in doubt, but devoutly, peacefully, and firmly keep and sustain it . . . Once our resolution has been holily made, we must never doubt the holiness of its execution."

St. Francis de Sales

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