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Thursday, March 20, 2008

The look...

There is such a thing as a dagger-look. This look wants to kill the one we are looking at.
There is such a thing as lustful and provocative look. This look practically strips naked the one we are looking at.
There is also a look of sympathy. This look shows assurance that we are feeling what the other person is feeling. We are happy when the person is happy, we are sad when he or she is sad.

But the look that the Lord gave the rich young man was not a dagger-look, a look of sympathy, a look of lust. It was the look of love.

Unfortunately, the rich young man did not allow himself to be touched by the look of love of Jesus, because he went away sad. He had many possessions which he was not ready to give up.

But the Lord was not always a failure. There were times when He gave the look of love and He succeded.

Do you remember the look of love given to Zacchaeus? Zacchaeus hurried down from the tree, sold his belongings and gave them to the poor. Why? Because the Lord looked at him with love.

Remember the look of love the Lord gave Matthew? Without saying a word, Matthew left the tax collector's table and decided to follow Jesus. Why? Because of that single look of love.

Do you remember the look of love the Lord gave Peter on that first Holy Thursday? Even after Peter denied the Lord three times before the cock could crow, the Lord looked at him not with rebuke, not with resentment, not with a dagger-look, not with a look of sympathy, but with the look of love. And Peter wept because he knew he had been unfaithful to his Friend.

The Lord continues to look with love on all of us. And the Lord has a special message for each of us, though not everybody has the same message from the Lord.

For some, the Lord says, give up some of your many possessions. Give him up, give her up, give it up, because we are too attached to this person, this place, this belonging. Give it up because it is only in giving it up, in detaching ourselves, that we can truly attach ourselves to the Lord.

But for some of us, when the Lord looks at us with love, the message of the Lord is not to give it up. The Lord's message is to take it and accept it.

Many of us are not so willing to accept love from others because we have been hurt te last time we loved.
Many of us are not willing to accept gifts from others because we were betrayed the last time we accepted gifts.
Many of us are not willing to trust anymore or love anymore, or respect anymore, because we were hurt the last time we did it.

For these, dear brothers and sisters, the Lord's message is not to give it up. The Lord's message is take it, be humble, take the risk, because it is only in taking the risk that you will discover happiness again.

Whether the Lord says take it or give it up, He looks at all of us with love right now, and says: "I love you." The Lord looks at us with love right now and says: "Even if you were the only person in the world right now, I would still be crucified for you. Even if you were the only person in the world right now, I would still choose to be born in a manger , and I would still choose to suffer because that is how much I love you."

But after the Lord looks at us with love, He also expects us to look at Him with love, because the Lord expects to be loved in return.

Yet the Lord is no longer here. Who is with us? Who is looking at us? Other people. It is now time to love the Lord by loving one another.

So, today as we celebrate the Eucharist of Holy Thursday, let us bow down our heads and pray: "Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your look of love but not only for Your look of love, I also thank You for listening to me with love. I thank You for touching me with love. I thank You for speaking to me with love. As You have touched me, as You have looked at me, as You have spoken to me with love, let me, in turn, love everybody."

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