Not everybody knows this, but we have two kinds of eyes.
We have the eyes we use to catch and throw a ball, to go looking for seashells at the beach, to watch the teacher write things on the board, and to drive a car—once we have a license.
These are our outer eyes. They help us enormously, of course. We tend to take them for granted. Until we come across someone who suffers from blindness. Then we thank God that we have the great gift of sight in our eyes.
But if anyone has ever really gotten to know someone who is blind, whose outer eyes don’t work; if any of us have ever read a book written by a blind person, or listened to a blind person sing, or tell a story—then we realize: these outer eyes are not the only eyes that we human beings have.
We also have inner eyes, spiritual eyes. With our spiritual eyes, we can see things that our outer eyes can’t see. Like memories. Like things we imagine. Some of us just used our inner eyes a moment ago, when I mentioned the beach. We imagined it, and we could see the ocean with our inner eyes–even if we do not find ourselves anywhere near the beach at this moment.
Like I said, we thank God for the blessing of our outer eyes. But the truth is that our inner eyes are even more powerful and important. Let me tell you why.
Lord Jesus walked the earth for a particular period of time. He died and rose again from the dead. For forty days after His resurrection, He continued to walk the earth and talk to His friends. They saw the risen dead man with their outer eyes, and He looked even more wonderful than before.
But then the time came for Christ to ascend to heaven. He told the disciples that He would pass away from their outer sight. But don’t worry. Don’t fear. ‘I will remain with you always,’ He promised.
When He said that—Don’t worry, even though you won’t see Me anymore—when He said that to them, did they take it in stride? Did they say, ‘Got you, Master. No problem.’
No. They did not say that at all. They whined; they complained. ‘Why can’t you stay visible forever, and make yourself visible to everyone? Why do we have to live by faith and not by our outer eyes?’
Now, if I might put His response in my own words. He replied:
“I understand why you panic like this, my children. But you fail to grasp that your inner sight is a million times for important than your outer sight. I will go to heaven, and from there I will send the power of love into you, inside you.
“Your outer eyes can see baseballs and squirrels and gas stations on the highway. But all these things come and go.
“With your inner eyes, you can love the holiness that lasts forever. With your inner eyes, you can see God, and you can see the true beauty of another person’s soul.
“Not only that. With your inner eyes, you can see that heaven is always right in front of you. All you have to do, to step into it, is: love. Step forward in love, and you will enter heaven.”
We do not understand all these mysteries. At least I don’t. But I know for a fact that our inner eyes see more than our outer eyes. Because, for now, only our inner eyes can see Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
Using the unworthy voice of His priest, Christ says, “This is my Body,” and “This is my Blood.” We do not see Him with our outer eyes. But we do know He is here. We see Him with our inner eyes, our eyes of faith. He beckons us to come to Him, to receive Him, to unite ourselves with Him.