Εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος.
Δὲν εἴμαστε τυφλοὶ ἀπὸ τὴ γέννηση μας, ἀλλὰ πόσοι ἀπὸ ἐμᾶς εἴμαστε κλεισμένοι στὸν ἑαυτό μας! Ποιὸς ἀπὸ ἐμᾶς μπορεῖ νὰ πεῖ ὅτι εἶναι τόσο ἀνοιχτὸς ὥστε νὰ μπορεῖ νὰ δεῖ ὅλο τὸν κόσμο στὴν εὐρύτητα του; Συναντοῦμε ἀνθρώπους, καὶ τοὺς βλέπουμε μὲ τὰ μάτια μας, ἀλλὰ σπάνια συμβαίνει νὰ βλέπουμε πέρα ἀπὸ τὰ ἐξωτερικὰ σχήματα, τὰ χαρακτηριστικὰ, τὰ ροῦχα– πόσο συχνὰ μᾶς συμβαίνει νὰ κοιτάζουμε στὰ μάτια ἕνα πρόσωπο καὶ νὰ τὸ καταλαβαίνουμε; Γύρω μας ὑπάρχουν ἄνθρωποι καὶ κάθε πρόσωπο εἶναι μοναδικὸ γιὰ τὸν Θεὸ, ἀλλὰ γιὰ ἐμᾶς εἶναι; Δὲν εἶναι οἱ ἄνθρωποι γύρω μας ἁπλὰ ἄνθρωποι μὲ ὀνόματα, ἐπίθετα, ποὺ ἀναγνωρίζουμε ἀπο τὴν ἐμφάνιση, ἀλλὰ ποὺ στὴν οὐσία δὲν τοὺς γνωρίζουμε;
Αὐτὴ εἶναι ἡ κατάσταση μας: εἴμαστε τυφλοί, κουφοί, ἀναίσθητοι στὸν ἐξωτερικὸ κόσμο, κι ὅμως, ἔχουμε κληθεῖ νὰ ἐρμηνεύουμε . Ὅταν συναντᾶμε ἕνα πρόσωπο, θὰ πρέπει νὰ τὸ προσεγγίζουμε ὅπως ἕνα μυστήριο, ὅπως συμβαίνει μὲ κάτι ποὺ μποροῦμε ν’ἀνακαλύψουμε μόνο μὲσα ἀπὸ μιὰ βαθιὰ σχέση, ἴσως μὲ τό λόγο, ἴσως μὲ τὴ σιωπή· μιὰ σχέση τόσο οὐσιαστικὴ, ὥστε νὰ γνωρίσουμε ὁ ἕνας τὸν ἄλλον, ὄχι ὅπως μᾶς γνωρίζει ὁ Θεὸς, ἀλλὰ μέσα στὸ φῶς τοῦ Θεοῦ ποὺ καταυγάζει τὰ πάντα καὶ τὸν καθένα μας χωριστά.
Καὶ ἀκόμα, μποροῦμε, ὁ καθένας μὲ τὴ δύναμη, καὶ τὰ χαρίσματα του, νὰ κάνουμε ὅ,τι καὶ ὁ Χριστὸς ποὺ ἄνοιξε τὰ μάτια αὐτοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου. Τὶ εἶδε αὐτὸς ὁ ἄνθρωπος; Τὸ πρῶτο πράγμα ποὺ εἶδε ἦταν τὸ πρόσωπο τοῦ Σαρκωμένου Υἱοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ, εἶδε δηλαδὴ Αὐτὸν ποὺ εἶναι ἡ ἀγάπη. Ὅταν τὰ μάτια του συνάντησαν τὰ μάτια τοῦ Χριστοῦ, συνάντησαν τὴν θεϊκὴ τρυφερότητα, τὴ συμπόνια, τὸ βαθὺ ἐνδιαφέρον καὶ τὴν κατανόηση. Μὲ τὸν ἴδιο τρόπο θὰ μποροῦσαν τόσοι πολλοὶ ἄνθρωποι νὰ βλέπουν, ἄν καθὼς μᾶς συναντοῦσαν, ἔβλεπαν στὰ μάτια, στὸ πρόσωπο μας τὴν λάμψη τῆς εἰλικρινοῦς, νηφάλιας ἀγάπης, μιᾶς ἀγάπης ὄχι συναισθηματικῆς, ἀλλὰ ὁρατῆς, ποὺ θὰ μποροῦσαν νὰ δοῦν καὶ νὰ νοιώσουν. Καὶ πόσο πολὺ θὰ εἴμασταν γιὰ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους γύρω μας ἀποκάλυψη κάθε μηνύματος ποὺ αὐτὸς ὁ κόσμος ἐκφράζει μέσα ἀπὸ τὴν τέχνη, τὴν ὀμορφιά, τὴν ἐπιστήμη, μέσα ἀπὸ ὅλα τὰ μέσα μὲ τὰ ὁποῖα ἡ ὀμορφιὰ προσλαμβάνεται καὶ διακηρύσσεται ἀνάμεσα στοὺς ἀνθρώπους.
Ἀλλὰ τὸ κάνουμε; Μεριμνᾶμε γιὰ νὰ εἴμαστε φορεῖς τοῦ βάθους τῆς ὀμορφιᾶς καὶ τοῦ νοήματος τῶν πραγμάτων γιὰ κάθε πρόσωπο ποὺ συναντᾶμε; Δὲν μᾶς ἀπασχολεῖ περισσότερο νὰ παίρνουμε ἀπὸ τὸ νὰ δίνουμε; Κι ὅμως, ὁ Ἅγιος Παῦλος, ποὺ γνώριζε τὶ σημαίνει παίρνω καὶ δίνω, εἶπε: « Εἶναι πιὸ εὐλογημένο νὰ δίνεις παρὰ νὰ παίρνεις». Κι ὅμως πόσες πολλὲς δωρεὲς εἶχε δεχτεῖ; Εἶχε ἐμπειρία τῆς γνώσης τοῦ Θεοῦ, εἶχε δεχτεῖ τὸ χάρισμα τῆς διδασκαλίας καὶ τῆς γνώσης, καὶ τῆς ἐμπειρίας τῆς Π.Διαθήκης καὶ τότε ὁ Χριστὸς τοῦ ἀποκαλύφθηκε: καὶ τὶ δὲν δέχτηκε! Κι ὅμως, εὐφραινόταν περισσότερο νὰ δίνει ἀπὸ τὸ νὰ παίρνει, ἐπειδὴ δὲν ἤθελε νὰ κατέχει ὅλο τὸν πλοῦτο ποὺ ἦρθε στὸ δρόμο τῆς ζωῆς του· ἤθελε νὰ τὸν μοιραστεῖ, νὰ τὸν προσφέρει, νὰ φωτίσει καὶ νὰ πυρπολήσει ἄλλες ζωὲς πέρα ἀπὸ τὴ δική του.
Ἄς σκεφτοῦμε πόσο πλούσιοι, πόσο πλούσια εἴμαστε προικισμένοι, πόσα πολλὰ μᾶς δόθηκαν νὰ βλέπουμε καὶ ν’ ἀκοῦμε καὶ ἄς συνειδητοποιήσουμε ταυτόχρονα πόσο τραγικὰ εἴμαστε κλεισμένοι στὸν ἑαυτό μας, ἐκτὸς ἄν σπάσουμε αὐτὸν τὸν τοῖχο γιὰ νὰ προσφέρουμε, τὸ ἴδιο γενναιόδωρα, τὸ ἴδιο πλούσια, τὸ ἴδιο ἄφθονα τὶς δωρεὲς καθὼς μᾶς ἔχουν προσφερθεῖ. Καὶ τότε πραγματικὰ, ἡ χαρά μας θὰ ἔχει ὁλοκληρωθεῖ σύμφωνα μὲ τὴν ὑπόσχεση τοῦ Χριστοῦ. Καὶ κανένας καὶ τίποτα δὲν θὰ μπορέσει ποτὲ νὰ μᾶς τὴν ἀφαιρέσει. Ἀμὴν.
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Man Blind from Birth
4 June 1989
In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
We heard today the story of the man born blind. We do not know from experience what physical blindness is, but we can imagine how this man was walled in himself, how all the world around him existed only as a distant sound, something he could not picture, imagine. He was a prisoner within his own body. He could live by imaginations, he could invent a world around himself, he could by touch and by hearing approximate what really was around him; but the total, full reality could only escape him.
We are not physically blind, but how many of us are locked in themselves! Who of us can say that he is so open that he can perceive all the world in its width, but also in its depth? We meet people, and we see them with our eyes; but seldom it happens that beyond the outer shape, features, clothes, – how often does it happen that we see something of the depth of the person? How seldom it is that we look into a person\’s eyes and go deep in understanding! We are surrounded by people and every person is unique to God, but are people unique to us? Are not people that surround us just ‘people’, who have names, surnames, nicknames, whom we can recognise by their outer looks but whom we do not know at any depth?
This is our condition: we are blind, we are deaf, we are insensitive to the outer world, and yet, we are called to read meanings. When we meet a person, we should approach this person as a mystery, that is as something which we can discover only by a deep communion, by entering into a relationship, perhaps silent, perhaps in words, but so deep that we can know one another not quite as God knows us, but in the light of God that enlightens all and each of us.
And more than this: we can do, each within his own power, within his own gifts, what Christ did: He opened the eyes of this man. What did this man see? The first thing he saw was the face of the Incarnate Son of God, in other words, he saw love incarnate. When his eyes met the eyes of Christ, he met God’s compassion, God’s tenderness, God’s earnest concern and understanding. In the same way could so many people begin to see, if by meeting us they meet people in whose eyes, on whose face they could see the shining of earnest, sober love, of a love that is not sentimental but is seeing, a love that can see and understand. And then, how much could we be to people around us a revelation of all the meanings that this world holds and contains through art, through beauty, through science, through all the means by which beauty is perceived and proclaimed among human beings.
But are we doing this? Is our concern to convey the width, and the depth, the beauty and the meaning of things to every person whom we meet? Are we not rather concerned with receiving than with giving? And yet, Saint Paul who knew what it meant to receive and to give, said, ‘It is a more blessed thing to give than to receive’. And yet how much had he received! He had received the knowledge of God in his own experience; he had received teaching, and knowledge, and experience within the Old Testament, and then Christ revealed Himself to him: what did he not receive! And yet, he exulted more in giving than in receiving, because he did not want to be the owner of all the richness that had come his way; he wanted to share it, to give it, to set aglow and afire other lives than his own.
Let us reflect on how rich, how richly endowed we are, how much it was given us to see, and to hear. And let us realise at the same time how tragically walled we are within ourselves unless we break this wall in order to give, as generously, as richly, as abundantly as we were given. And then indeed, our joy will be fulfilled according to Christ’s promise. And no one, nothing will ever be able to take it away from us. Amen!