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Eye See What You Mean

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Some of the idoms in English we use to express our understanding of another's speech make more sense than others. As someone strives to explain something to us verbally, we say, "I hear you." But we also say, "I see what you mean" - this even when they're not drawing diagrams or talking with their hands. We can "see" meaning so even if our visual acuity is perfect, we can take blind Bartimaeus' part in prayer today.

We can ask Jesus to see as he, Jesus, sees. I suppose it's a spin on the sometimes overused question, "What would Jesus do?" to imagine "What/How Jesus would see?" We should  exercise humility whenever we ask either question, first since no one can really be certain  what Jesus would say or do, and second because the answer is often used to manipulate or criticize others for not having the same opinions or acting in the same way we do. How often do we hear, "I don't think Jesus would..." as a criticism of Church teachings or policies? "I don't think Jesus would care if I went to mass every Sunday," or "As long as we love each other, I don't think Jesus would care," or "What's wrong with in-vitro fertilization, Jesus wouldn't care," are just a few of the propositions we've heard.  Still, used with caution and prayerfully, asking for "Jesus vision" can be spiritually nourishing.

How would Jesus see the current state of our country and world? We can suspect he would pick out the "anawim" right away, the powerless and the oppressed - the homeless, the hungry, the voiceless. We have to use our imaginations to determine who they are. The underpaid foreign assembly worker and the downsized, unemployed head of household have more in common than they think: each is treated like a commodity.

As NJ Respect Life sells raffle tickets outside the church today to raise money to educate the public and politicians to reverence all human life, let us take the opportunity to look at the margins of our society as Jesus would. We should promote a culture which respects human life, especially the most vulnerable: the unborn, the frail, abandoned elderly, those without health care insurance, the unemployed, wartime refugees, children...the list of those treated like a statistic instead of a person is long. And the steps toward action begin with the vision to see the problem.

Let us ask today, Jesus, Master, let us see as you see.