There is a caution in this morning’s first reading, taken from the beginning of the Book of Revelation – a book that is filled with symbolism and “apocalyptic” language. The section of which I speak this morning, however, is easily understood and calls me to self-reflection. It says, in part: “You have endurance and have suffered for my name and you have not grown weary. Yet…you have lost the love you had at first.” (REV 2:1-5, italics mine) The image that comes to me is that of a fire that has been burning for a long time. There are still smoldering embers but unless someone comes to stoke what’s left, allowing some air to circulate, the fire is likely to go out. Sometimes it seems that there is nothing of life left in that situation, but the reality is that with a little help the heat and beauty can be restored.
In the gospel this morning (LK 18:35-43) the crowd passes a beggar who has been told that the commotion around him is because Jesus is coming. The beggar calls out to Jesus to have pity on him which causes Jesus to ask the question, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Please let me see!” the man answers, and so he does. I am gratified by this reminder that we need only to ask for clarity of sight in order for it to be given. Perhaps then, to assure that the flame of love remains alive, I need only to add one sentence to my morning practice: Lord, please let me see today!