Fourth Sunday of Lent, 2023

    March 19, 2023

    Not as man sees does God see…but the Lord looks into the heart. 1 Sam 16:7

    The readings this weekend all have the theme of darkness and light, blindness and sight. The Gospel today is one of the miracles of Jesus. He heals a blind man on the Sabbath. The Pharisees get mad at Jesus and the blind man. Then Jesus identifies himself as the Son of Man to the blind man. It is all about blindness -vs- seeing.

    However, the phrase about seeing that caught my attention was from the first reading: “Not as man sees does God see” (1 Sam 16:7). Imagine a world where humans truly saw other humans the way God sees us.

    Look at the veteran who can’t seem to fit back into society. Look at the young pregnant girl who doesn’t know what to do next. Look at the asylum seeker who has lived through atrocities we will never understand. Look at the senior citizen who is alone and choosing between medicine and food. Look at the family who is slowly spiraling down because of low-paying jobs.

    What do you see? Too often we blame the person for their situation in life. Too often humans see other humans as problems that need to be solved. That’s assuming that we see the suffering and broken at all.

    What does God see? God sees suffering and broken people as His beloved children. He sees them as being worthy of love and dignity and compassion.

    My prayer for those of us involved in social ministry is that we will not only see the issue at hand, make a check request, set up an appointment and form a committee, but that our hearts will be in line with God’s way: that we will truly see each other the way God sees us.

    Chris Austgen is the Coordinator of Parish Social Ministry at Mary Queen Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. She is also on the CCUSA Parish Social Ministry Leadership Team.

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