“Can you see me?”

Dear Parishioners & Visitors,

In these last few decades, access to the Holy Father has increased a hundredfold, even after there was an attempt on the life of Pope Saint John Paul II. With papal audiences, numerous travels, world youth days, and the weekly outdoor St. Peter’s Square presentations, Pope Francis continues in the manner of other pontiffs in greeting and blessing the people.

If we consider for a moment the sea of people, most of whom are carrying the ubiquitous cell phone in their hands, as they attempt to get close to the Holy Father for memory’s sake, it’s as if what people are really there for is to be considered of special pedigree because of their physical proximity to our Holy Father. Nothing evil about this; however, much better to look into the Holy Father’s loving eyes while he looks upon you, than to focus on capturing him in the mechanical eye of your cell phone camera.

Hence, the narrow door has to do with the question: “Can you see me?” That is, can I see the person, love the person, and be merciful to the person right in front of me, and, therefore, be in possession of at least some semblance of Christian relationship with him or her? This is why great sinners like rich Zaccheus and Levi, both tax collectors who focused upon Jesus and He on them with love and trust, entered the narrow door and were transformed by the relationship. Can I notice my religious brother or sister who is in pain? Can I notice my spouse who needs my understanding and encouragement? Can I notice my classmate who is sad? Can I notice with an active love the homeless woman or man? If I can, then I enter through the narrow door into life. If not, then I choose to be outside of the Kingdom of God in selfish trophy-hunting solitude, observing it through an artificial lens rather than with the eye of my heart. We cannot enter the narrow door if we are obese with sin and other unnecessary baggage.

In God’s loving kindness,

—fr. Chris, O.P.