“Remember, you are dust…” [6]

“… and unto dust you shall return.”


Where do I look? What do I see? Whom do I not look at?

I recall taking an extra few block walk down Connecticut Ave. in Washington, DC to catch the Metro on my way to class (liturgical studies) at The Catholic University of America some years back. In the rush of human traffic on the sidewalk, I glanced at what seemed to be a heap of Hefty Bags against this building.

Out of this jumble came a voice full of irritation & accusation, “Don’t you go walking by and not look at me!” “What the…” No one else blinked an eye. No one blanched. Then I saw a middle-aged woman materialize from the bags. “Don’t you not look at me! I’m a person! I’m a HUNGRY person, too. Gimme some money!”

Long story short, I acted little better than the Levi who passed by the guy who was beat up in the ditch. I had to get to class. We went into McDonald’s and I bought her breakfast. And headed to class.

This is the story that haunts me today with the “Sheep & Goats” gospel.  “When did we see you hungry or naked or in prison…”

It seems to me that my habitual focus is inward. It really is ‘all about me’. Just sayin’.

I wondered out loud with the noon Mass congregation today about the lens provided today by the gospel and how it differs from my/our usual lens encouraged by popular Church notions.  Where do I look? What do I see? Whom do I avoid looking at?

It’s so “gratifying” to fill my awareness with myself – Am I doing Lent right? Did I do XYorZ right?

Why is it so difficult to see those whom Jesus named as our brothers & sisters? For me it’s the fear of being drawn into the world out there that I avoid in here. You?

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