Jesus told the crowds, “Many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
Jesus was the Messiah. Through centuries of waiting, people had not been given the privilege of hearing or seeing him. Jesus called his audience in today’s Gospel blessed in seeing him and in hearing his words, but he would also call us blessed. We have been opened up to so much of God’s truth.
In my retirement I am trying my hand at writing a history of Christianity, and I marvel at how easy it has been made for me. My folks and the Church gave me a fine education, and in my air conditioned condo I have an Apple Computer for my two finger typing. I am amazed at the ease with which I can Google up every name and every obscure theory.
In my privileged life my thoughts often go back to of a Korean lady named Bernadette. In the twelve years I was pastor of a town in Korea I spent a few nights in the spring and a few nights in the fall at the house of the chief Catholic in each of the outlying Catholic villages.
Those chief Catholics and their wives did their best to make my stays pleasant, but at some places it didn’t work. I was miserable with dishes that had fish eyes looking up at me, and I found it hard to remain polite with people who talked at me through the meals and into the nights.
I mentioned Bernadette. She was the wife of Stephano, the chief Catholic in a village called Mulchy. Bernadette was a fine seamstress, and a great cook. She had class written all over her, and I felt privileged to be staying in her house. Her only problem was that she had never had any schooling.
As we sat around on the floor of their little house, Bernadette would sometimes speak of how she missed being educated. She would emphasize the point by slapping her eyes, punishing them for not having learned to read. My memory of Bernadette assures me that our eyes and ears have been truly blessed.