If All Else Fails, Try The Obvious
The guru was meditating in his shed when
he opened his eyes and saw there in front
of him the superior of a well known friary.
"What did you come here for? What are
you looking for?" he asked him.
The superior related to him the hard story
of his convent - how once this convent was
famous in all the country, many vocations,
the liturgy chant would fill the church with
But now hard times came over the convent:
vocations next to nothing, the monks were
all elderly, the music faded away, the few
monks that were left would drag their feet
and they keep carrying out their work with
a heavy heart. They had no hope left.
"I would like to know what happened
to us. Perhaps we are suffering the consequences
of some sin we have committed. You are a
wise man. Can you help us?" the superior
"I think I can," replied the guru
dryly. "You have committed one grave
offence, the sin of ignorance!"
"What do you mean?"
"One of you is the Messiah and you have
not recognised him. The Messiah lives concealed
in one of your monks and you have not realised
The guru closed his eyes and did not say
Walking back to the convent, the superior's
heart was beating rapidly. The Messiah, the
Messiah himself has left heaven to live right
in our convent! This is great! But how is
it possible that we did not recognise him?
But above all, the big question - who could
Could it be the cook, perhaps? The sacristan?
The bursar? The gardener? No, surely not
him… he is full of flaws! But the guru told
me explicitly that he is hidden in one of
us. Maybe the defects themselves are the
camouflage he is using to hide his identity!
When he reached the convent, the superior
gathered all the community and gave them
this splendid news that the Messiah himself
has come back from heaven and is living amongst
them. They looked at each other stunningly.
The Messiah? Here? How can it be? But this
is what the guru told us. So he is surely
here. Veiled. Concealed. Who could he be?
Perhaps that one, or the other one, or the
other one, or…
One thing is sure. Since he has decided to
hide himself from us, we surely would not
be able to recognize him. So they started
treating each other with great respect, compassion
and love. "You never know…" they
would tell each other, "may be he is
They never did recognise the Messiah. But
the convent's atmosphere changed from day
to night. Happiness came back in. Love was
felt. Vocations blossomed once more. The
Church was filled with music. The convent
came back to life.
Because, it's true, sometimes we miss the
obvious. We get so consumed by everything
around us we forget the basics. I am always
fooled by riddles. And, when I hear the answer
to the riddle, I usually say something like
"duh." I can't believe the answer
was so simple
What are we using our eyes for if we fail
to see the obvious?
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
granted for any non-commercial use,
that the content is unaltered from
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