Week of May 26, 2013

There is a story of a king who at the end of his life was beset by melancholy. He had experienced many things in his life, but he had never seen God. A shepherd heard of the king’s plight and came to the king and told him he could help him. The king was delighted and followed the shepherd into the hills. As he went along he rubbed his eyes in anticipation of what he hoped to see. But the shepherd said to him, “Your Majesty, if you wish to see God, it’s not your eyes you have to purify but your heart.”

The shepherd pointed towards the sun and told the king to look up. The king exclaimed, “Do you want to blind me?” And the shepherd answered, “But, my king, this is only part of creation, only a small reflection of the glory of God. How then can you expect to look at God with your weak and imperfect eyes? You must begin to search for him with eyes other than your physical ones.”

The king responded, “I thank you for having opened the eyes of my mind. Now answer another question: Where does God live?” The shepherd pointed once more to the sky, “Look at these birds. See how they live surrounded by the air? In the same way we live surrounded by God. Stop searching. Open your eyes and look. Open your ears and listen. You can’t miss him. Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”

The king stopped and looked and listened. As he did so a peaceful expression came over his sad face. Then the shepherd added, “There is one other thing, your Majesty.” With that he led him to a well. He stood there looking into its calm deep water in silence. “Who lives down there?” asked the king. “God does,” the shepherd answered. “Can I see him?” “Sure. Just take a look.” The king gazed intently down into the well, but all he saw was his own reflection in the water. He said, “All I see is me.” The shepherd responded, “Now your Majesty knows where God lives. He lives in you.”

The king thanked him and returned to his palace. No one knew if he had seen God, but all could tell that something had happened to his heart. This was evident from the kindly way he dealt with even the least of his servants.

God is all around us. But until we discover him within us, he will always be remote from us, and appear unfriendly and uncaring. When we have experienced God within us, loneliness will never be a big problem for us, because we will know that we are never alone.

This Trinity Sunday we celebrate one God in three persons, a God who is within us and yet utterly beyond us. This is a great mystery, but it is a mystery of love. (Taken from New Sunday & Holy Day Liturgies)

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