After looking through this Sunday’s Mass readings I was struck by the first reading. In 1 Samuel, God says to Samuel, “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance, but the LORD looks into the heart.” This line relates to my everyday life as a first-year student at Neumann University, meeting new people each and every day.
As a child, I was always told to not judge a book by its cover, but as we all know, this can be hard sometimes. In the beginning of the year, I found myself judging others from across the room before I even got to know them. Not judging someone by their appearance takes a lot of practice, but I believe it is essential in our faith life as well. Avoiding the judgment before meeting someone has led me to some of my best friends at Neumann.
Jesus shows us how to do this through his many parables in the Bible. The most common example I can think of from the Gospels is when Jesus cures the lepers. While everyone else in the community saw the lepers as outcasts, Jesus did not judge them by their appearance, but rather he saw them as people. Jesus saw what was in their hearts and cured them of their disease. Nearly 1200 years later, St. Francis did the same, reaching out to lepers when all others cast them aside.
During this time of social distancing and separation from our daily routines, it is important to remember that we should get to know someone for what is on the inside rather than the appearance of the person. Just like the cliché, "don’t judge a book by its cover," don’t judge a person by their appearance but rather by their heart. While we are separate from one another, we can remember that we are connected by our humanity and show gratitude to those who are following the examples of Jesus and St. Francis and caring for our present day “lepers.”
Looking for online Mass opportunities?
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Philadelphia
Sunday Mass 11:00 AM
Saint Mary Magdalene Parish, Media, PA
Daily Mass (6:30 AM and 8:30 AM)
Sunday Mass, times listed on site (uncertain which Sunday Masses are live)
The Miraculous Medal Shrine, Philadelphia
Mondays 9:00 AM Mass and Novena
Word on Fire Daily Mass, with Fr. Byron
Daily 8:15 AM ET