The Scriptures abound with references to the body, often in the way of metaphor or analogy. Today Jesus speaks about the eye and even though I travel deeper than my physical body for meaning, I am incredibly grateful for my physical eyes as I see the sun sparkling on the pear tree outside and making patterns on my hands as I type – patterns that change with the breeze rustling the leaves of the ancient maple tree to the right of my window. At the same moment I am grateful for the advances in medicine that prolong eye health in so many ways (especially as I await the “ripening” of cataracts that I know can be dissolved with a laser beam!).
But on to the deeper meaning of “the eye” in terms of darkness and light. Jesus says: The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, the whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.” (MT 6: 19-23) I think of Jacques Lusseyran in his book, And There Was Light. Blinded before his eighth birthday, Lusseyran was a fearless, energetic, loving child who became a leader of the French Resistance during World War II, surviving a concentration camp as a leader whose light shone in that darkness and was responsible for many lives saved. What was the source of his light? What is the wattage of my lamp today as I prepare to welcome a group of spiritual seekers who will be our guests this weekend? Do I know the source of my strength? I believe it all springs from the introductory line to the above quote where Jesus gives the core message at the center of everything.
Where your treasure is, Jesus says, there will your heart be.