Reflection for the Third Sunday of Trinity 2021

Seeing with New Eyes

A Different Angle on the World around Us

This week, in my assembly for St. Thomas’s School, we were looking at this painting with some discussion questions:

  • What details can you see?
  • What does it feel like? Why?
  • What makes this painting so special?

It’s as if the artist Vincent Van Gogh, was seeing the world with different eyes to us, and an ability not just to paint an image, but to paint into it wonderful colours, smells, sounds, sensations – a complete world of living feelings.

Van Gogh was unique; seeing the world through new eyes.

From the Epistle Readings Through this Week – 2 Corinthians 6.4-10

4 We have presented ourselves, in every way, as servants of God: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities,
5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, labours, sleepless nights, hunger;
6 by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love,
7 truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 
8 in honour and dishonour, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true;
9 as unknown, and  yet are well known; as dying, and see—we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed;
10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

Let the Lord give you your Perspective on the World

Is Paul simply being stoical in these words?

Is he telling the Corinthians to stop being mard, and get on with it? Paul had really been through the mill, but in the wonderful grace and love of Jesus, he has a completely different perspective on the intense problems he experiences; and now encourages the Corinthian believers to let God build that same angle into their lives.  He sees through new, encouraged eyes. For me, one line sums up this  warm perspective on life:

κάί πάντα κατέχοντες

Kai panta Katechontes

Yet we possess everything

An Unhappy Life finds New Eyes

In his early years, Martin Luther, a Catholic priest, and later a reformer, really struggled with finding a true spiritual perspective on life.

As a sincere and devout believer, he regularly made confession, undertook pilgrimages, read spiritual books, and was very strict with himself.

But he was so disappointed with his life that he actually wrote: “I hated God.”  Then, the moment came when he realised that all the Lord was asking of him was simple but committed trust.  Luther then wrote these words:  Deus meus et omnia! – I have God and I have everything! 

His outlook on life was transformed – born anew.


Lord help me to realise that I no longer need to see the world through dark glass.
Open my eyes to all that You have done, and the beauty of all You are doing in my life.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.