✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Feb 19, 2023: Sunday

“Seeking the grace of the Lord, to have our eyes touched and thus to be healed of our spiritual ‘myopia'”

(Based on Lev 19:1-2, 17-18, 1 Cor 3:16-23 and Mt 5:38-48 – 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A)

Myopia is a commonly found eye condition.

Popularly, it is also called as “near-sightedness” or “short-sightedness”.

It is a state of the eye that causes distant objects to appear blurred, while close objects can be seen clearly.

Coming from the Greek word, “muōpia”, which literally means “trying to see like a mole”…
… Myopia is a condition of the eye that causes the image that one sees, when looking at a distant object, to be out of focus, but in focus when looking at a close object.

Well, this short-sightedness or myopia is limited to not just the physical eye…

It can also easily be applicable to our general outlook of life or our spiritual life.

Yes, it is often found that one becomes short-sighted in life – seeing things only as they appear at the moment, and unable to take the long view of matters.

This is “spiritual myopia”
This is “spiritual short-sightedness”

The Gospel of the day presents Jesus inviting us to become aware of the presence of a possible “spiritual myopia” in our lives and to take measures to get rid of this condition.

The passage begins with the statement.. “You have heard that it was said….. But I say to you” (Mt 5:43)

It must be borne in mind that the region in and around the ministry of Jesus, was multicultural and multilingual.

Under the Roman Empire, there was an infusion of languages… Latin, Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew…

Many of the common people of Israel usually spoke in Aramaic or Greek and perhaps Latin.

In this multi-linguistic situation, the reading and understanding and interpretation of the Scriptures (which was in Hebrew) was mainly by the religious leaders of the time – the Pharisees and the Scribes.

This therefore gave them the chance to interpret the Scriptures in a manner that reflected their own personal and biased teachings.

As time passed, this style of interpretation finally led to the situation that just observing the Law in an outward allegiance was sufficient in fulfilling God’s demands.

The spirit of the law was sacrificed for the letter of the law!

The inner dimensions and requirements were abandoned.

A “spiritual myopia” had crept in…

A “spiritual short-sightedness” had overpowered them…
They were fixed only to doing the stipulations, but failed to live the spirit of the Law

Jesus, therefore, warns the people to be aware of this “spiritual myopia” and to see beyond…
… to the real requirements of the law
… to the core of God’s commandments

Jesus attacks the method which interpreted Scripture with a limited vision and perspective…

He contrasts the Pharisees’ interpretation of the law with the law’s real meaning, by using the formula:
“You have heard that it was said to those of old. . . . But I say to you . . .”

Six times in the second half of Matthew 5, Jesus uses this formula…speaking about…
… anger (Mt 5: 21-22)
… adultery (Mt 5: 27-28)
… divorce (Mt 5: 31-32)
… oaths (Mt 5: 33-34)
… retaliation (Mt 5: 38-39)
… loving enemies (Mt 5: 43-44)

Each time Jesus described the “limited” interpretation of the law…and each time He “broadened” the vision of the law.

Each time Jesus exposed the “myopic” understanding of the law…and each time, He “enlarged” the understanding of the law.

Am I also in a condition of a “spiritual myopia”?
… limited in my vision of the love of God and failing to extend His charitable love to all
… limited in my vision of the law of God and being stuck to my egoistic interpretations
… limited in my vision of the mercy of God and blocking it from reaching our enemies.

Am I also in a condition of a “spiritual short-sightedness?”
… having eyes fixed only on materialistic aspects and failing to see heavenly realities
… having eyes fixed only on being pious outside and failing to have a genuine intimacy within

Let us always be aware of the call of the Lord ‘to a life of holiness’…
… just as it was addressed to the people of Israel: “Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy!” (Lev 19:2)

In the Nazareth Manifesto, at the beginning of His public ministry, Jesus declared that He has been sent, “to proclaim…recovery of sight to the blind…” (Lk 4:18)

Let us seek the grace of the Lord
… to have our eyes touched
… and thus to be healed of our spiritual “myopia”

God Bless ! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

The chosen people was constituted by God as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”
But within the people of Israel, God chose one of the twelve tribes, that of Levi, and set it apart for liturgical service; God himself is its inheritance.

A special rite consecrated the beginnings of the priesthood of the Old Covenant. The priests are “appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. (CCC #1539)

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