Have you been surprised lately? I often wonder if a gift of massive wealth will turn out as wonderfully as one might think. I feel it is probably a good thing that most surprises do not come in such huge helpings. I think I prefer my surprises to come in smaller, bite-sized portions...even the good ones. Despite many of the challenges we face each day, I am discovering that the world is full of daily happy surprises. The key is we must have the attitude to be open-minded and have eyes to see them.

Have you noticed that we will tend to see what we look for and miss most of the rest? I recall the story of a class instructor holding up a large sheet of white paper. It seemed to be clean except for a black dot in the center made by a heavy marker. He asked the class to tell him what they saw. Everyone who raised their hand predictably pointed out the black mark, each describing it differently. Then the teacher asked, "Why did no one say they saw a sheet of white paper?"

Was that answer too obvious? Maybe so. It reminds me that often we miss the obvious because we are busy looking for something else. We might be surprised at what we can see if we were to actually look for it.

If I search for mistakes in myself or others, I will find enough to keep me critical for a week. Likewise, if I look every day for what is admirable in others, what is pure in myself and what is lovely in the world, all of these things suddenly become obvious. Yet the large sheet of white paper is easy to miss when I am searching for black smudges.

I pray that the same Jesus who is manifested here and enters us in the sacrament of the altar, will continue to be that great surprise. I pray that among all the changing scenes of life, we will find the light of Christ and follow it, that the journey each of us walks will bring us closer to one another and to the Lord. It is about what we are going to look for and that is enough of a surprise.

Rev'd. Fr. Colin Humes