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First Sunday of Lent: Embracing the Healing Gaze of Jesus

On Ash Wednesday we reflected on the commandments to love God, neighbor, and self that Jesus gave us: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Mt 22:36-39).”

Jesus says that we are to love our neighbor “as ourselves.” This means we can only love our neighbor to the extent that we love and care for ourselves. Wow, this is something to think about!

The gaze of Jesus and of those who love us is a healing gaze. We don’t change destructive habits by hating and critiquing ourselves. We need to allow God’s gaze to heal us, enlighten us, love us.

God’s loves us without judgment or critique.

This week perhaps consider the following:

  1. Are there things about myself that I do not like much, such as personality flaws, my looks, my attitudes, my behaviors, addictions, self-neglect, or other annoying habits?
  2. If I let Jesus look on me in love, are his eyes forgiving and gentle? Could I consider seeing myself as Jesus sees me?
  3. If it’s hard to imagine Jesus’ gaze, think about another person who has truly loved you. How do/did they gaze upon you with love, even though they knew you had a flaw or two?

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