With compassion at the sight (2019/06/09)

上智

With compassion at the sight (Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2019/06/09)
Fr. Peter Zhao Jianmin

It is in Jesus Christ, the image of the invisible God, as St Paul said in today's reading, all things were created in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible. Surely, there are things visible and there are things invisible. However, the things visible or invisible, that does not only depend on the things which exist objectively in reality, but also depends on your sight. In Chinese proverbs, we have one to say, 视而不见,听而不闻,that means look without seeing and listen without hearing. Jesus also said to his disciples, after showing them a sign, “Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?”(Mk 8:18) Therefore, the things visible or invisible are also depend on oneself, even a thing is objectively exist in reality, it could be invisible to someone. Before the Chinese proverbs, 视而不见,听而不闻,there are another four characters, 心不在焉, that means when the mind is not present. So, when the mind or the heart is not present, we look but do not see, we listen but do not hear. That is also what St Paul said to the Romans in his letter, “God gave them a spirit of deep sleep, eyes that should not see and ears that should not hear, down to this very day.”(Rom 11:8)
So, to see the things visible and invisible, one needs to wake up his or her spirit. Then, with compassion at the sight could be the very first step to wake up one's spirit or let one's mind to be present. Without compassion, without mercy; without compassion, without loving God and one's neighbor, because without compassion, one would have eyes but do not see, one would have ears but do not hear. Compassion at the sight is the key to see human beings and to see the universe. If one cannot see human being, cannot see the universe, how could one see the invisible God, because Jesus Christ is a true human being, Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God. In other words, at sight with compassion allows us to see the things visible and invisible, especially to see the things invisible.
It is in this way, we Christians, with compassion not fear or scare, are looking at Jesus Christ who was crucified on the cross. We are looking at the Passion of Jesus Christ on the cross, so that we could be at the sight with compassion to man, since Jesus is a true man who was crucified on the cross. The Passion of Jesus Christ on the cross surely will wake up one's “spirit of deep sleep”, if one has compassion to the Passion. But, whoever will not be with compassion when he or she is at sight of the Passion of Jesus? Only those who are out of mind or whose mind is not present, in Chinese 心不在焉, will look but do not see. These people is somehow like the priest or the Levite in today's gospel. The more we gaze at the Passion of Jesus, the more we will wake up the spirit of compassion in our heart. Of course, there might be other ways to wake up it, nevertheless the Passion of Jesus, for whatever, will be the most effective, most active, most practice way. The reason is that, as St Paul said in today's reading, “For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominion or principalities or powers.” That is to say, Jesus Christ, the image of the invisible God, is all and ultimate sources of all other possible ways that might be also effective in waking up the spirit of compassion. Jesus is the best way to improve your EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient). Gazing at the Passion of Jesus Christ will wake up the spirit of our compassion.
Besides improving one's EQ, above all, looking at the Passion of Jesus Christ will especially allow us to see the things invisible, since He is the image of the invisible God. When apostle Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father, Jesus clearly said to his disciples, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”(Jn 14:9) To see the invisible God through the visible image, Jesus Christ, one needs to be at sight with compassion, that is to say, “with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength and with all your mind” to love your God and your neighbor as yourself. But, before you could love, you must see them, both your God and your neighbor. If one only looks but do not see because one's mind is not present or 心不在焉, how can the one to love. That is the Chinese proverb in the Book 大学(the Great Learning) says, “The cultivation of the person depends on rectifying the mind.” (修身在正其心。......心不在焉, 视而不见,听而不闻) That is also what the Hebrew law is written, “with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength and with all your mind” to love your God and your neighbor. That is also Jesus Christ's words borrowed from Prophet Isaiah: this people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.(Mt 15:8) That is what Jesus taught his disciples, “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”(Mt 6:21) Therefore, to put our heart in a right place, to let our mind be present, that is to mean with compassion at sight, will be the first step that allows us to see “all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible”. However, in this way, we shall remember that looking at the Passion of Jesus Christ, the image of the invisible God, is the most effective, most active, most practice way. Then, as today's gospel says, “Go and do likewise.” Amen.