Samantha had just finished college. The only job she was able to find after graduation was as a nanny to a wealthy and extremely likable family. It was a great job for a nanny – but not what she envisioned her life to be. While her friends were going off to law school or beginning promising new careers in great cities or getting married, she was mastering toasting the perfect Eggo waffle. Soon Samantha began to wonder about the meaning of her life, feeling insignificant and a failure.
Then came on of those “aha!” moments when things become unmistakably clear.
Samantha was playing outside with her little charges when one of them came up and said “You’re so great. You don’t even have to play with us but you do it anyway. Our other nannies never did that. We love you!”
Samantha was floored. Not only did she underestimate the kids’ ability to be so gracious, but they made her realize that it’s truly not about what life hands you but what you do with it. Samantha writes:
“I could easily just patrol these girls, make sure they don’t run out in the street or draw all over the walls, but I don’t. I play with them. I make life part of theirs and vice versa… Self-worth is where you find it and that the most beautiful form of self-worth occurs when you maximize the amount of love you share with the world, no matter how mundane or humble the circumstance may be… Just because you have a college degree doesn’t mean you need a job with a Blackberry.”
[From “Right now Matters” by Samantha Jacobs]
In today’s Gospel a blind man asks to see Jesus. Jesus cures the man, but this is not just a physical cure. Jesus helps the man to see the love of God in his life and to see how he can be a vessel of that love for others, in the acts of compassion and mercy that he is capable of.
If we are open to Jesus’ presence in our lives, we too can see the possibilities of the many ways that we can do good for others. In the same way that Samantha comes to realize the ability she had to bring love and joy into the lives of the children entrusted to her.
Let us ask the Lord to open our eyes so that we may work with Him to bring a vision of a just and compassionate humanity to our world, ourselves.