Daily Reflection for Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners!
We encourage you to reflect on Wednesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Song of Songs 3:1-4B OR 2 Corinthians 5:14-17
Responsorial: Psalm 63:2-6, 8-9
Gospel: John 20:1-2,11-18
Our reflection on Wednesday’s readings:
… from now on we regard no one according to the flesh. 2 Corinthians 5:16
Today is the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene. As we read in today’s gospel from John, Mary was the first to see the risen Jesus on Easter morning. But at first she didn’t “see” him; she thought he was the gardener. Then when he called her by her name, “Mary!” she was suddenly able to see who he was.
Last week I was able to “see” my godson for the first time in a year. He is now 18 months old and because he lives in Michigan, we have only met a few times. At 18 months, he is starting to look at the world with a critical eye. As he studied my face I could see his brain working. “Is this someone I should be comfortable with? Is this someone I can trust?” As time passed, he dropped his wariness and smiled freely when I smiled and chatted with him.
As adults, many of us view people we don’t know with the same wariness. And that general cautiousness in face of the unknown is further clouded by learned biases, filters, and assumptions regarding what we physically see in the other person. How often do we make judgments about others based entirely on what we can visually see: age, height, weight, skin color, facial expression, or posture? Most of us would say we want to be seen for who we truly are, deep down, inside, but we often don’t take the time to see past the surface in others.
St. Paul instructs us to do just that in today’s reading from Corinthians, to look beyond what we see physically in each other and see the presence of Christ in each person we encounter. This is really hard to do because our human brains are wired and conditioned to make judgments about what we see. But if we seek to live as God intends, we need to see with more than just our eyes. We need to see with our hearts.
Try to do that today with at least one person you encounter. Try to look past their physical appearance and see the Christ in them. If you can do that, rejoice as Mary did when she recognized Jesus.
Blessings to all,