See Christ in others during Lent

This past weekend’s gospel is a call to examine ourselves so that we may truly see the Christ in others and see Christ in the mirror.

The blind man from birth was thought to have been blind because of some sin that he or his parents possessed.

Jesus answered them that neither the man’s parents nor the man was blind because of the sin but that the work of God may be glorified through him.

It is said that the eyes are the window to the soul. Can you imagine that by looking into our eyes the worth of our soul is uncovered? Scary that God has that ability.

We cannot put on our best clothes and make-up and fool Him. God sees the worth of the person completely and loves us. We are the ones who choose to torment ourselves with the raging thoughts of not being worthy.

I spoke with a man who left the church some time ago. His clothes were dirty because he worked in construction and would not have had time to change and be at work on time. But he did find time to be with Jesus at Mass.

The parish fuddy-duddies were disgusted by his attire and the looks wore him down. He started to feel uncomfortable and after some time stopped going.

Where was Christ to that man?

The way we speak to and about others says a lot about us. The eyes that see our behaviors are learning from us. The same way we learn from others.

I suppose that it is easier for me to point the finger at someone else and point out the flaws that I see in them than to look in the mirror and see the problem.

How do I treat those who are not “average” people? Am I nice to their faces to make them feel comfortable, and then joke about them when they’re not around?

God looks in the depths of the heart and shines the light on all that darkness. We hide from that light because “if people really knew how I felt, they wouldn’t think I am such a nice person.”

“If they could see what I was really thinking about their lifestyle,” we think to ourselves, “They would see the fraud I really am and realize friends don’t treat friends with hurtful words.”

These are the thoughts that keep us from being truthful, because it is easier to think of ourselves as great people and avoid the call to change and to have a metanoia.

The eyes that we see with are not the eyes that Jesus sees with. Jesus died on the cross for the world. He died for the man as much as the woman, for the Jew and the Muslim, for the Christian and the non-believer, Jesus died for the homosexuals and heterosexuals, criminals and upright.

Jesus died for you and me precisely because there is no darkness in the eyes of Christ. The invitation that we are made present for is the shedding of all those scars of life that say “only this person or that person is in the Light”

The energy we spend looking for the errors in others can be spent better looking for the errors in ourselves so that when others see and hear us we resemble Christ and not a heathen.

Embracing the differences in others is a call to see the similarities that we all possess. Lent is a time of preparation to receive into our hearts the joy of salvation in the Christ who stretched out his arms for you and me regardless of the sin, regardless of the background or future.

One of my favorite scripture passages is when Jesus stands before Pilate, beaten and bloody. Pilate asks Jesus, “What is truth?” There it was, in front of him, and he couldn’t see it because of the sin on his heart.

Lord, open my eyes this Lent that I may see you in others, and may others see you in me.

ROB LOPEZ

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