Bishop Scott Mayer delivered his address to the 35th Convention of the Diocese of Fort Worth on Friday, November 10, at the Cleburne Conference Center in Cleburne, TX.
He began by thanking the hosts, greeting guests, listing important transitions, and recognizing the work of the many volunteers who serve on committees of the diocese. He gave special recognition to the members of the diocesan Corporation. Then he began exploring the passage from the fourth chapter of John’s Gospel, when Jesus says to his followers: “Raise your eyes, and look at the fields.”
He talked about Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, how when Jesus’ followers return and find him talking to her, they are astonished. But Jesus turns to his followers and says: “Raise your eyes, and look at the fields.” He tell them the fields are “ripe for harvest” – meaning “God’s salvation is available now, and even for Samaritans.”
he continues, “I want to begin today by looking at the phrase, “raise your eyes.” One of the early Church theologians (named Origen) tells us that “lift up your eyes” occurs in many places in Scripture when the divine Word admonishes us to exalt and lift up our thoughts, and elevate our insight. We could think of this as an epiphany, a moment when something which was true all along is made known – an “aha moment,” a sudden awareness.
“But another word – perhaps a surprising word – comes to mind, as I think of Origen’s understanding of “raise your eyes.” To exalt and lift up our thoughts, to elevate our insights, is what it means to repent.”
Read the entire address. Fort Worth Convention 2017 November 10 (1)
Watch a video of the address below, or on YouTube.