Hippolytus writes, 'It is said that Thales of Miletus...looking towards the heaven, alleging that he was carefully examining supernal objects, fell into a well; and a certain maid, by name Thratta, remarked of him derisively, that while intent on beholding things in heaven, he did not know what was at his feet.'
Jesus calls us to be aware, to 'see', the reality of the world around us. To 'fix your eyes on Jesus' is not to gaze into the heavens longing to be set free from this world; it is to walk with Jesus in the muck and mire, to eat at the table of strangers who become friends, to laugh with Jesus at the joy and the wonder of relationship with God and each other. It is an earthly, gritty and liberating way of 'seeing'.
If our eyes are looking up at the heavens we will miss the beauty and pain of today.
If our eyes are looking to the stars we will miss God with us in the gutter.
If our eyes are fixed on life after death we will miss the beauty of the life of God today and the hope of the Kingdom tomorrow.
If our eyes are fixed on 'supernal objects' we will miss the suffering of our fellow human and the ways Jesus is good news to the poor, oppressed and captive.
How can we walk faithfully with the Risen Jesus if we are stuck down the bottom of a well?