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Do problems make you look away?

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Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 11/22/20

Pope Francis warns that our judgement won't be about how problems made us feel.

On the feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday of the liturgical year, and the liturgy’s focus on “the ‘Omega,’ that is, on the final goal,” Pope Francis had a warning: “We will be judged on love. The judgement will be on love — not on feelings, no.”

He contrasted the tendency to look away when we see a problem, or to draw near — attracted precisely by the “problem” that needs resolving.

We will be judged on works, on compassion that becomes nearness and kind help. Have I drawn near to Jesus present in the persons of the sick, the poor, the suffering, the imprisoned, of those who are hungry and thirsty for justice? Do I draw near to Jesus present there? This is the question for today.

The pope noted how in this parable, Jesus places himself not only in the position of shepherd, but also of sheep: “And He will ask us: ‘Were you a little bit like a shepherd as myself?’ ‘Where you a shepherd to me who was present in those people who were in need, or were you indifferent?'”

Pope Francis said there is a need to look at the “logic of indifference.” He noted how in the parable of the Good Samaritan, we see characters who one after another “looked the other way.”

I, before my brothers and sisters in need, am I indifferent like the priest, like the Levite and look the other way? I will be judged on this: on how I drew near, how I looked on Jesus present in those in need. This is the logic, and I am not saying it: Jesus says it. “What you did to that person and that person and that person, you did it to me. And what you did not do to that person and that person and that person, you did not do it to me, because I was there.” May Jesus teach us this logic, this logic of being close, of drawing near to Him, with love, to the person who is suffering most.
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Pope Francis
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