"The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God." -St Irenaeus of Lyon

Where are you looking?

Today’s Gospel reading comes from Christ’s sermon on the Mount.  Arguably, the injunction to “seek first the kingdom of God” is one of the most often commands quoted off-hand by a lot of my friends.

But today’s excerpt begins by discussing the nature of our eyes.  As someone who has needed to wear glasses for my entire life, I have a special appreciation for the eye.  I can tell when my prescription starts to go, and I am equally amazed by my ability to see through encrusted lens.  Everything seemingly flows from the eye because if the eye is full of light, then there will be no darkness.

Dmitri Royster in “The Kingdom of God: The Sermon on the Mount” does a much better job at explaining the point I am about to offer.  I have pilfered this translation from his work, and I hope to not misrepresent the claims. He speaks of the word to describe the eye as being best rendered “single” rather than “healthy” or “sound” or any other words used to describe the eye.

We are to have one focus in our lives.  One thing should capture our entire vision to the point where we cannot see the world without having to see through this one thing.  This one thing is better represented as one person: the person of Jesus Christ.  When our hearts are set on Him, our eyes remain focused on Him.  Wandering eyes reflect wandering hearts.  Christ does not leave us alone in our endeavors to keep our eyes on Him; He is fully invested in revealing Himself to us and longs to fully enter our lives.

It is much easier to ask God to bless our kingdoms rather than seeking His.  We would rather add significant caveats to the Lord’s prayer particularly when we entreat God that His kingdom would come, that His will would be done.  Instead of finishing the prayer “on earth as it is in heaven” we rather say “but only if You already agree with what I want to do.”

May Christ reveal Himself to us to show us the differences between looking at Him and looking in the mirror.  May He also grant us the grace to see how we too are created according to His image and likeness.

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