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See Others as God Sees Them

Jesus often urges us to do the things that God does. For example, in the gospel He says, “Be merciful as your heavenly Father is merciful.” But doing what God does presupposes that we see things the same way God sees them. If we don’t see things with His eyes, so to speak, then how can we act as He acts. A perfect example of not seeing with His eyes takes place in today’s first reading. When Samuel goes to anoint a King for Israel from the sons of Jesse, he is impressed by the appearance and stature of them. But it is the youngest and least physically impressive that God has chosen because He sees David’s heart and knows he will, with His grace, serve Him well. Now obviously we cannot see into people’s hearts. So we are at a disadvantage in that regard. But we can strive to be sure that our presuppositions, prejudices, and first impressions don’t warp the way we see people and cause us to treat them wrongly. A case in point for me occurred when, as a seminarian, I was working one summer at a boy’s camp. I was counselor to 9 and 10 year olds. One little boy, George, was sickly and shy. He often avoided company with the other kids who picked on and made fun of him. For a time, I judged him strange and didn’t pay him much attention. Then I found out his parents had been killed in a terrible accident and he, having no other close relatives, was being raised in an orphanage. He felt different from other kids and was deprived of the normal affection they all received from their families. I made an effort to reach out to him in certain ways and it was clear the attention meant a great deal to him. I hope that when he left camp he had begun to see himself differently than before. I hope I did for him what God wanted me to do, that seeing him as God did, I shared with him some of God’s concern and love. Lent is a time for each of us to try to see others as God sees them and act accordingly.


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