FRIDAY, ELEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
2 Cor 11:18,21-30; Ps 34:2-7; Mt 6:19-23
SEEING THROUGH HEAVENLY LIGHT
“The lamp of the body is the eye.” This statement of Christ can be understood in terms of a practice of what writers of the spiritual life call ‘the custody of the eyes.’ It simply means taking care of what you see so that you don’t lead yourself into temptation. Of course, this does not mean going about with closed eyes; our sight falling on something, is not the same as our seeing something. Our sight may fall on many things, but when we see, we make a conscious choice to stop, notice and ponder. Therefore, take care of the things you let your eyes settle on, and your mind ponder on.
You may not be able to help it if your sight falls on the new car your neighbour has just bought, but if you allow yourself to admire it for too long a time, you are opening your heart to the temptation of coveting it. The custody of the eyes, if practised daily, can save us from a multitude of temptations and sins, especially those of a carnal nature.
Every text of Scripture, however, has various layers of meanings. Hence, going a bit deeper, we can consider this statement to be understood, not only in terms of seeing, but of dedicating one’s attention, energy and passion. The eye leads the mind to know, understand, and form an opinion of that which is seen, as either good or bad, interesting or unimportant, necessary or unfit for consideration. And then, we make a choice – to disregard it, or latch our heart onto it and make it our treasure.
Jesus strongly recommends that we set out hearts on spiritual riches and wealth, which build what is inside us. “It follows that if your eye is sound…” i.e., if our treasure is something that abides, something that makes us good, something that accentuates our identity as a child of God and a disciple of Christ, “…your whole body will be filled with light”, i.e, our whole person, and our whole life, will be filled with light. And anything that is filled with light, shines!
Response: The Lord rescues them in all their distress.
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