What Would Jesus See?

by Melannie Svoboda SND on June 24, 2013

Jesus gave us a new way of seeing. He did this through his parables and teachings; he did this through his life. 

Jesus often said, “Behold!” That’s just another way of saying, “Look!” or “Look again!” Jesus said things like these:

See that Samaritan you’ve labeled your enemy? Look again and you will see a man whose compassion far exceeds your own.

See that woman you’ve called a whore? Look again and you will see a woman filled with extravagant love.

See that Roman centurion you’ve dubbed a godless and violent member of the occupational forces? Look again and you will see a person of unparalleled faith and tenderness.

See that widow you’ve called a cheapskate for putting only two coins into the temple treasury? Look again and you will see a woman whose generosity knows no bounds.

See that tax collector you’ve called a traitor? Look again and you will see a humble and loyal disciple of mine.

See those lilies of the field and birds of the air that you’ve taken for granted? Look again and you will see a consoling image of  God’s provident care for you.

See me hanging on the cross, an event you’ve thought of as a tragic end, a terrible disappointment, a horrific failure? Look again and you will see my boundless love for you, my absolute trust in Abba, and the gate of heaven opening to eternal life.

I have a kaleidoscope that I keep handy. It doesn’t have multicolored pieces of glass at kaleidoscopethe end as many kaleidoscopes have. Instead it has a clear prism at the end. This means it takes whatever you’re looking at and transforms it into breath-taking patterns.

The symbolism for me is quite clear. The lens we look through determines what we see. Our Christian faith is a magnificent lens that enables us to see reality as Jesus sees reality.  At times it enables us to see beautiful and hopeful patterns that lie beneath ordinary or even disheartening appearances.

Most of you are probably familiar with the initials WWJD: What Would Jesus Do? It’s a good question to ask ourselves regularly. But we could also ask: WWJS: What Would Jesus See? In other words, what would Jesus notice? How would he view this person, this event, or this situation?

kaleidoscope image 1

Is there someone or something in your life right now that needs to be looked at through another lens?

PS: I’m back from the retreat I facilitated in Sea Isle City, NJ. The Mercy Sisters were a beautiful group of women to be with: prayerful, kind, dedicated, and fun. The ocean, sand, and sun formed a breathtaking environment. Thank you for your prayers!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathleen Magiera June 24, 2013 at 5:14 am

Sr. Melannie,

Glad you had a good retreat with the Mercy Sisters. You were all in my prayers.

I need to look at co-worker who is often distant with others as someone who uses silence to be very thoughtful about how she speaks. Her words are always thought provoking.

Kathleen

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Georgia Auckly June 24, 2013 at 9:19 am

Dear Sister Melanie,
What an “insightful” article! Many times I know I could change my lenses.
With thanks,
Georgia

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Mary Schneider June 24, 2013 at 11:11 am

I am so happy to “see” with the eyes of one who loves the Christ. Since I have been in my new home parish (4 years) a whole new world has opened up to me…lots to see and do. One day I hope to see and hear you here in Wisconsin. Thank you Sr. Melannie

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Linda June 24, 2013 at 1:44 pm

hello Sister,
My daughter and I (and our pets) have been evacuated from our home last Thursday night due to the massive flooding in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Fortunately, we did not suffer like many of our neighbors and your blog has encouraged me
to see where I can help instead of feeling sorry for myself.

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Melannie Svoboda SND June 26, 2013 at 11:12 am

Dear Linda, Our prayers and thoughts are with you and everyone in Galgary who have been affected by the massive flooding…I hope you can feel our prayers and concern. Sr. Melannie

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marian June 24, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Hi Sr. Melannie,

I just came from seeing the movie “Fill the Void.” In my opinion, this drama is grounded in a personal and communal love affair with the Divine. Pleasing the Divine, seeking the Divine, sheltering in the Divine in all of life.

Each day I need the Divine Kaleidoscope for truth in all of my relationships and experiences. This is an every moment life long journey for me. Thank God for my family and mentors who patiently guide my path.

Right now, I think this means taking time for the ordinary–tackling to some projects around the home and moving through these summer days in a gentle way.

Thank you for being a teacher, a kaleidoscope.

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Judy Locascio June 25, 2013 at 11:35 am

VERY lovely and a nice reminder that good is everywhere….even when we don’t always see it right away. Thank you, Sr. Melannie!

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