To move forward, take second look with ‘eyes of faith’

| Father Charles Lachowitzer | July 16, 2015

Let me share a story.

There was once a man hurrying down a crowded street. The more the people pushed him out of their way, the more he pushed them out of his way. It was early winter, windy and freezing cold. He glanced at a family standing off to the side. He quickly formed a negative first impression of this family. He was already stressed out and angry with the slow-moving crowd. He blamed them for being poor and faulted the parents for subjecting their young child to the cold weather. It did not take much for him to see them as an example of all that is wrong with the world.

A moment later, he tripped — a reeling stumble that threw the man into the arms of the husband and wife. Their immediate concern was for his health and whether he was injured. He saw their compassion, and in that moment his heart changed. His eyes were opened to meet Joseph, Mary and the child Jesus — a perfect example of all that is right with the world.

I share this to remind us that our first impressions are often flawed and all too human. It is in that first look that we hate ourselves or others, or see only an overstuffed dumpster while vacationing in a national forest. However, human beings are uniquely gifted with the ability to take a second look. The eyes of faith move the heart to love, and hope springs forth from a spiritual vision of self, others and the providential beauty of the world around us.

To demonize, we have to dehumanize — whether we find fault or blame for the world’s wrongs in people, corporations, governments or religions. Nothing gives us reason to deny another child of God his or her goodness and dignity.

We are all created in the image and likeness of God. To look at ourselves or any other person as anything less is to give sin too much power and deny the very cross of Jesus Christ that we are called to carry as his disciples.

For Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and for citizens of the broader local communities, the swirl of reactions, opinions and judgments over this terrible chapter of clergy sexual abuse are understandable. I share the grief, sorrow, disappointment, anger and heartache.

I also share the burden of moving our Church forward through the tragedy of this Good Friday to the joy of a new Easter. The Holy Father, Pope Francis, calls us to be joyful witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This means taking a second look at all the people involved in the leadership of the Church, particularly in this archdiocese.

It is a matter of critical judgment and opinion concerning the events of the past. It is the moral obligation of all members of the Church to be part of the solution for moving forward into the future.

In our witness to the Gospel, we profess. It is the difference between drawing others to Jesus Christ or driving them away.

With the pain of awareness — by the grace of God — comes the wisdom for right judgment. Judgment is not the issue. It is the conclusions we believe and the decisions we make that demonstrate whether or not we are taking that second look through the eyes of faith. It is the all-too-human first look that takes threads of truth and weaves them into tapestries of fiction solely for the benefit of demonizing any human being.

I invite us to pray together for a vision that is through the eyes of faith. Let us work together so that our Church can be an instrument of healing and reconciliation, building one another up rather than tearing anyone down. Let us take that second look with the virtues of charity and hope. The Church calls us to make saints, not demons.

Para seguir adelante, den una segunda mirada con ojos de fe

Tags: ,

Category: Only Jesus

Comments are closed.