Redemptorists logo
Our Mother of Perpetual Help Icon
Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
Redemptorists logo


Features
Wednesday

Embraced by Lent: Where are We with One Another? “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.”

(Click here for complete readings. Audio option. Courtesy, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.)
 
A story worth repeating: Rabbi Mordecai approached his students with the following question. “When can you tell when the night ends and the day has come?” A pause among his students and then finally one young man responded, “Rabbi, when you look in the distance and can tell the difference between a dog and a goat.” The Rabbi shook his head, no. Another young man responded, “Rabbi, when you can tell the difference between a fig tree and an olive tree.” Again, the Rabbi shook his head, no. Finally the perplexed students begged, “Please Rabbi, how can you tell when the night has ended and the day has come?” The Rabbi responded, “You can tell when the night has ended and the day has come when you can look into the eyes of another human being and see in them a brother or sister. Until you can do this, it will always be night.”
 
“Some Greeks who had comes to worship at the Passover Feast came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” (John 12:20-21)
 
What is preventing us from “SEEING” Jesus? In a previous reflection I proposed that oftentimes our brokenness, our sinfulness, prevents us from “SEEING” Jesus. Oftentimes our relationships with others prevent us from “SEEING” Jesus. Sometimes I listen to the memories of some long-ago real or perceived insult, hurt, or action done to a person by another, often a family member or close friend. A relationship fails, a marriage ends in divorce, and siblings ignore one another. The teacher/student had it in for me, the boss never appreciated my talents from day one, and those around me fail to see how wonderful I am!
 
We sit with this stuff, often losing sleep over it (perhaps even planning revenge), damaging our health, our peace of mind and even our souls, and yet we still do it. There is an ancient Chinese saying: “When you dig a grave for your enemy, dig one for yourself.” Well, you get the point.
 
The wisdom of Rabbi Mordecai applies to all of us. Unless we can look into the eyes of another human being and see in them a brother or sister, we are still in the dark.
 
Why do you think the Greeks in the gospel wanted to see Jesus? Curiosity? Conversion? Why do YOU want to see Jesus? What is helping you to SEE him and what is preventing you from SEEING him?
 

Father James McDonald professed vows as a Redemptorist in 1984 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1990. He is currently stationed at San Alfonso Retreat House in Long Branch, NJ.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our online Lenten retreat. Special features like this are part of our mission to spread the good news of plentiful redemption throughout the world. Your gift, of any amount, will help us continue to offer spiritual encouragement to the thousands of searching souls to whom we minister every year — both here on the Internet and in our parishes, retreat houses and other ministries. Thank you for your generosity.

More reflections:
Getting Back to Basics: What Lent IS and IS NOT
Slowing Down, Entering the Desert
A New Look at Life — Transfiguration, Wow!
Where Am I With God? Listen.
Where Are We With Ourselves? "Seeing is Believing, Believing is Seeing"