Jesus Christ is the teacher of the ages. His Sermon on the Mount offers a lasting wisdom, and so he speaks to us as well as to the people of his time. It’s up to us to listen to him and keep our eyes on him, even as others vie for our attention with their wisdom and their wishes. Like sheep, our eyes and our attention are on the next step we take; we have to listen for the Shepherd’s voice and turn to see where he is leading us;
Here’s a selection from St. Gregory of Nyssa in the Office of Readings for today:
“We shall be blessed with clear vision if we keep our eyes fixed on Christ, for he, as Paul teaches, is our head, and there is in him no shadow of evil. Saint Paul himself and all who have reached the same heights of sanctity had their eyes fixed on Christ, and so have all who live and move and have their being in him.
As no darkness can be seen by anyone surrounded by light, so no trivialities can capture the attention of anyone who has his eyes on Christ. The one who keeps his eyes upon the head and origin of the whole universe has them on virtue in all its perfection; he has them on truth, on justice, on immortality and on everything else that is good, for Christ is goodness itself.
The wise, then, turn their eyes toward the One who is their head, but the fool gropes in darkness. No one who puts his lamp under a bed instead of on a lamp-stand will receive any light from it. People are often considered blind and useless when they make the supreme Good their aim and give themselves up to the contemplation of God, but Paul made a boast of this and proclaimed himself a fool for Christ’s sake. The reason he said, We are fools for Christ’s sake was that his mind was free from all earthly preoccupations. It was as though he said, ‘We are blind to the life here below because our eyes are raised toward the One who is our head.’”