Seeing Christ in our Neighbor

First Reading: Mi 6:1-4, 6-8

Psalm: 50:5-6, 8-9, 16bc-17, 21 and 23

Gospel: Mt 12:38-42

Jesus says to the Pharisees that the people of Nineva heard God in Jonah’s preaching and repented. The Queen of Sheba saw God’s wisdom in Solomon and traveled all the way to Jerusalem to do him homage. The Pharisees saw the wonder of Jesus’ miracles and heard the wisdom of his teaching, and yet failed to recognize God speaking in him.

The Pharisees wanted the Messiah. But the Messiah they wanted was not the type of Messiah Jesus intended to be. They heard Jesus talking about the primacy of service to others, about suffering and turning the other cheek; and they heard him criticizing their approach to religion. This was not the kind of Messiah they wanted. So they blinded themselves to what God was writing in clear bold lines in Jesus.

We may be blinding ourselves to the reality. Not just the material reality in front of us, but the spiritual reality also of God in the form of suffering of our neighbors. Like the three little monkeys, we cover our eyes, and stop our ears and seal our lips. These evils, therefore, do not exist for us nor does the voice of God reproving us.

Jesus said that on the Day of Judgment the people of Nineva and the Queen of Sheba will rise up and condemn his generation.

When the people of Nineva and the Queen of Sheba rise up on the last day, will they condemn our generation as well?

  • Llkazlas

    Jesus taught that the primacy in our life of faith is love of God, then love of neighbor, not service, suffering and turning the other cheek, although we will be judged by whether or not we do these things.

    And God did not write in clear bold lines in Jesus, because Jesus IS already God, the second person of the Trinity.

  • The Pharisees are very much with us. Over 50 years of my life, I’ve met many priests and bishops who behave like them. They can’t accept the fact that the laity don’t just want to pay, pray and obey.