Richard knew a “secret, a very simple secret.” He knew and trusted that “it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, chapter xxi)
That is the secret that sustains us through our losses and gives hope on this day. It is the secret that makes life beautiful, relationships meaningful, and conversations extraordinary. It is the secret that lifts us up to see further and cleanses our eyes to see more clearly. It is the secret all our sacred scriptures try to teach us. It is a secret open to everyone and hidden from no one, but only those with eyes to see will understand it.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled,” Jesus says. “Do not let your hearts be troubled?” Are you kidding me? Is Jesus really serious about that? Does he know what is happening in our lives and our world? How can Jesus say that with a straight face when he was troubled at seeing Mary and the Jews weeping at the death of Lazarus (John 11:33), when he said that his own “soul is troubled” (John 12:27), and when St. John tells us that Jesus “was troubled in spirit” (John 13:21)? What is Jesus telling us? It’s not as if there is an on-off switch for troubled hearts.
Psalm 86:11. “Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; knit my heart to you that I may fear your Name.” The palmist has named a truth about my life: I live with a divided heart. My heart is divided between who I am and who I want to be,…
Psalm 78:1. “Hear my teaching, O my people; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.” Several years ago, I spent a summer participating in a pastoral care internship. As the summer progressed, I realized I was really doing an internship on learning to listen. I came to understand that listening is essential for…
Yesterday we began Lent with a couple of questions. What do you treasure? Where is your heart? Today we hear God’s answers to those questions.
Where we begin our Lenten journey is not as important as where it takes us. In the same way, what we give up, take on, or do for Lent are not as important as what those things do for us.
What should I do for Lent this year? What should I read or study or give up or take on? These are good questions, but they are not Jesus’ question. Jesus wants to know what we treasure. Jesus is getting to the heart of the matter—our hearts.