Monday, February 10, 2014

“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”

“To love God and neighbor is not something abstract, but profoundly concrete: it means seeing in every person the face of the Lord to be served, to serve him concretely. And you are, dear brothers and sisters, in the face of Jesus.” (Pope Francis, Address during Visit at the Homeless Shelter Dona Di Maria in Rome 5/21/13)

Gospel Text: (MK 6:53-56)
After making the crossing to the other side of the sea,
Jesus and his disciples came to land at Gennesaret
and tied up there.
As they were leaving the boat, people immediately recognized him.
They scurried about the surrounding country
and began to bring in the sick on mats
to wherever they heard he was.
Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered,
they laid the sick in the marketplaces
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak;
and as many as touched it were healed.

How often do we slow down and recognize God in our lives today? In the Gospel today, Jesus’ boat docked in a town and immediately, people recognized who he was. I ask myself if I am recognizing God in my life. Sometimes it’s hard to see God in the mundane parts of daily life. However, I love the idea that God works through people in our lives and can be found in the little things. In this sense, it becomes our job to see his presence in places that we may not immediately recognize.

In whom do you have a difficult time recognizing the face of Christ?

What is in our heart? Are we blinded by prejudices and stereotypes? When we see a homeless person on the street -- do we see Jesus? When we see a person who is a different color than us or from a different country - do we see the face of Christ? Are we willing to sacrifice so the poor, the immigrant, the victims of violence may have dignity and hope? When we see people with mental or physical disabilities do we see the dignity they have and the wisdom they can offer?

At times we may be blind and even fearful, but if we are willing, Jesus will take us by our hand and lead us out of darkness into the light.

Many of Mother Teresa’s peers would ask her, “How can you keep serving the poor, the sick, and the dying with such vigor? What's the secret? How do you do it?”

Mother's answer was surprising and profound. "Whenever I meet someone in need," she said, “it’s really Jesus in his most distressing disguise.”

Jesus in the child abandoned by the road.

Jesus in the beggar hoping for a meal.

Jesus in the leper whose limbs have turned to dust.

"It’s him I help—him alone."

Jesus is fond of “his most distressing disguise.” And that is where we should look for him.

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