June 22, 2012 - Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

2 Kings 11:1-4, 9-18, 20
Psalm 132:11-14, 17-18
Matthew 6:19-23

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. They both are looking at the same treasure; it is the eye that is different.

In the first reading, Queen Athaliah is seeing with the eye of power. She desires power so much that she kills all her grandchildren, or tries to, so that she can rule. When she looks at the world, all she can see are people to conquer and political gain. When a saint looks at the world, they see people whom they can help, people who need to know about the love of God. People whom they are going to love. They see clearly. They both are looking at the same world; it is the eye that is different.

It matters what spiritual eyes you have. If any, like greed or power, are causing you to sin, pluck them out. If any help you see clearly, exercise them until you can look at the world and see God. What you see when you look around has all the power to change who you are.