Light in the eyes

Publish date 25-07-2023

by Arsenale dell’Incontro

A few weeks ago we participated remotely in the fraternity dinner organized by the Parish of San Gioacchino in Turin, in whose territory the Arsenale della Pace is located, and which for many years with its missionary group has " adopted” the Arsenale dell'Incontro.
That Sunday the Gospel was the page of the man born blind (Jn 9:1-41) and we were asked how we live that Gospel page here, thinking in particular of the moment in which the crowd asks Jesus: «Whoever has sinned, he or his parents, why he was born blind?”
Yes, sometimes here too it happens that someone thinks of disability as a fault, but we felt we had to share not so much this situation, but rather what we have learned from this page of the Gospel and are learning every day in the experience of fraternity that we live here. Maybe we don't want to look for a culprit, but many times - faced with the suffering we see or that go through us, painful situations, illnesses, infirmities of body and soul - we wonder and ask the Lord: but Why? Not once but many times. Why? Why? Why?

Certainly it is not the Lord who has caused that situation, because God always and only wants our good, but that question often remains there, ringing out without an answer. And keep knocking. We have realized that if we give it too much space, if we try hard to get an answer, we find ourselves in the dark, a little blind, like that man in the Gospel. And instead the Lord asks us to follow him on his path: don't stop there and ask yourself why, don't stop at the answers you can't find, meanwhile try to be an answer for the person in front of you.
We cannot restore the sight of the eyes to a man born blind or eliminate a physical paralysis; in most cases the lives we cross do not heal completely, but we try to give (or rather, to allow the Lord to give through us) to each of those lives the light of hope, the light of their being precious, the light of value they have because they are loved. As they are. And how many lives that lived in the dark have we seen flourish, how many lives that were deemed incapable of walking have started to move (sometimes even with their legs, other times with their hearts), how many parents stop asking themselves "but why?" they came out of their paralysis because they saw that their child's life was not closed in a dark with no exit and no future as they thought.

And the most beautiful thing is that – as in the case of the man born blind – precisely those little lives become a sign of hope for those who encounter them. Just one example. A few days ago a little boy who had come to the Arsenale with his school for an activity shared with our children said to us before saying goodbye: «I take home the smiles of your children. They are really happy! It struck me so much, I too would like to have that same light in my eyes!».
So this Easter we strongly feel the need to thank the Lord for all the times in which he asks us and leads us to be together the answer for our little ones and thus gives us new eyes too.

Arsenal of the Encounter
NP April 2023

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