Through God’s Eyes
Thoughts on the Second Readings by Joe Frankenfield
32st Sunday in Ordinary Time
When I was three, I ran away from home. Well, I walked four blocks until I couldn’t see any streets I knew, thought better of it and decided to head back. But for those four blocks I was sure that my mother didn’t love me and I was on my own. I was alone.
As it turned out, my mother did love me which she proved, I guess, by giving me a spanking and making me stay inside for the rest of the day. More importantly, that night she fed me (including dessert!) and tucked me in with a story and a kiss so that I fell peacefully asleep. Those four blocks and fifteen minutes of misery were all but forgotten.
Jesus’ companions in first century Palestine were convinced that they must constantly insure God’s loving care for themselves, their children and their land. Their relationship with God was often more a source of tension and anxiety than a source of hope and courage. It doesn’t matter how much God loved them or how committed he was to their welfare; they were convinced that he had to be served, placated and praised. That conviction was reality for them.
Was God distant from them? That depends.
Through God’s eyes his love was total and without condition; through the people’s it was conditional and dangerously unpredictable. The problem was that their eyes, not God’s, led their hearts.
Did Jesus take away sin?
For all who came to know his total love and saw him as the presence of God, he certainly did. He was neither a judge handing down a lenient sentence nor a friend willing to pay their fine. Jesus ended their separation from God by changing their point of view. His entire life was God’s loving story, his hug, his reassuring kiss before sleep and his greeting first thing in the morning.