June 17, 2011 - Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Readings

How many eyes does one person have? This does not seem like a very difficult question. Two. Easy, right? Not so fast.One person has many different eyes.  "The eye is the lamp of the body", Jesus tells us. This is a metaphor.  As a lamp is to a room, so is the eye to the body. But this is a multi-layered metaphor. Jesus is not merely telling us that if our eyes were not working we would always be experiencing darkness. He is referring here to spiritual eyes which are the lamps of our souls.

Physical eyes reveal the physical world to us. Spiritual eyes reveal the spiritual world. We all have spiritual eyes, many, many spiritual eyes. If they are good, we see the spiritual world for what it is. If they are bad, we will see a distorted and false spiritual world.

Consider one kind of spiritual eye: greed. If we see the world with greed, we will believe that we should try to possess as much treasure here on earth as we possibly can, yet Jesus, who saw more clearly than we will ever see, said that we should store up treasure in heaven and forget about treasure here on earth, where thieves steal and moths destroy. When a person looks at earthly treasure with greed, they fall in love and give their heart away. When a saint looks at earthly treasure, their only thought is, "How can I use this to further the Kingdom of God?" They see clearly. If it is stolen, they quickly forget about it.

Consider another spiritual eye: humility. St. Paul had humility. Today he reaches the apex of his boasting to the Corinthians. He begins boasting about how many times he has failed, how many times he has been scourged, how many times he has been shipwrecked. Some people would hear this boasting and laugh and say, "I wouldn't want to be like him." A Christian, with Christian humility, who remembers that our Lord died on a Cross, hears all this and says, "Wow, God must really be with this man."

It matters what spiritual eyes you have. If any, like greed, are causing you to sin, pluck them out. If any, like humility, help you see clearly, exercise them until you can look at the world and see God.