“We must not rely too much upon ourselves, for grace and understanding are often lacking in us. We have but little inborn light, and this we quickly lose through negligence. Often we are not aware that we are so blind in heart. Meanwhile we do wrong, and then do worse in excusing it.” - Thomas à Kempis
(Gospel text: 1 Jn 2:29–3:61)
If you consider that God is righteous,
you also know that everyone who acts in righteousness
is begotten by him.
See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure,
as he is pure.
Everyone who commits sin commits lawlessness,
for sin is lawlessness.
You know that he was revealed to take away sins,
and in him there is no sin.
No one who remains in him sins;
no one who sins has seen him or known him.
Jesus was rarely recognized from His birth to His death and resurrection. Even Mary Magdalene and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24-13-35) did not recognize the risen Christ.
Do we recognize Christ in the here and now?
The secret to this kind of sight lies in these words from the book of Matthew: “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see the face of God”( Mt 5:8).
Mother Teresa always remembered these words of Jesus. She said that she saw the face of Jesus in the face of each person she helped. She asked the whole world to look for Jesus' face there, too.
This is a beautiful Christian ideal to have before us, that Jesus is present in my neighbor. Jesus is in the person next to me, the person behind me, in front of me, in the person with whom I live and work.
Thinking like this means thinking in a new way, putting on a new mind, letting our brains be washed with the Gospel of Christ. And as Mother Teresa said, it is only through prayer and the Sacraments that we will receive the grace to see others with this new mindset, which is the very mind of Christ.
When we put on this new mind, the mind of Jesus, then his kingdom has come into our world.
Mother Teresa also said, “If now we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten how to see God in one another”. Think about that for a minute or two.
Maybe it is time for all of us to get our eyes checked out by the “divine physician” (Mk 2:17), so then we can truly see.