Just as Samuel chose the unlikely David, we have been chosen to show God's hope and generosity
by Sister Ann Rehrauer
As I reflected on this Sunday’s Scriptures, one of retired Bishop Robert Banks’ favorite hymns came to mind: Be Thou My Vision.
In the first reading, the Prophet Samuel was called to anoint a new King of Israel. As he looked on all Jesse’s sons who came before him, it was clear that God saw something Samuel didn’t. It was the youngest and seemingly least likely of the young men, who was God’s chosen.
David became one of Israel’s greatest kings and from his lineage the Messiah came. In his day, David was a great warrior and leader, but he was also a man whose human weakness was evident as he lusted after and eventually took another man’s wife. Yet God saw in David a person of faith who could accomplish God’s purpose in spite of his limitations.
In the Gospel account, God chose another unlikely vessel to manifest Jesus’ power. The man had been blind from birth and there was nothing outstanding about him except his disability. He came to Jesus, looking to be able to see – and received both physical vision and the gift of insight – to experience in the encounter with Jesus both physical healing and a deeper understanding of God’s action in his life. In response to that awareness, he became a follower of Jesus.
These days we are surrounded by very real fears and the economic uncertainty created by the deadly COVID-19 virus. For some people, this fear leads to panic and hoarding, anxiety about safety for children or parents, and concern that life (or they) will not be enough to provide for those they love. In others, it can elicit an outpouring of generosity to share resources with others who are in greater need. What makes the difference? What helps us overcome the terrible fears to reach beyond ourselves?
This weekend we pray for the insight of faith -- to trust the God who loves us, and who has chosen us for this moment. We pray to see with the eyes of God, to be able, in times of prudent quarantine, to avoid the pitfalls of isolationism, and to be people of hope and generosity in a world that desperately needs this sense of community.
“Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart; Naught be all else to me save that Thou art. Thou my best thought by day or by night, waking or sleeping Thy presence my light.”