What’s the condition of your window?
Quick…go over to a window and look out. What do you see? Are flowers blooming? Raindrops pouring? Or is the window so small or dirty that you can’t see anything? Does your view open up your heart? If you’ve ever been in the Dominican Sisters of Peace Columbus Motherhouse, you know that the chapel has an entire wall of windows behind the altar. It can be wonderfully distracting and spiritual. Most times, the chapel is filled with bountiful light. In contrast, medieval cathedrals had slivers of windows and most of them were very high off the ground. The cathedrals were dark and dreary.
Recently, I was working with an adult student and we were discussing continents and countries. My learner had little knowledge of countries outside of the United States and North America. I realized how fortunate I have been to travel around the world experiencing the cultures and hospitality of many people while so many have a very narrow vision of the world.
The darkness of your window obscures the truth
We all suffer when we don’t have enough light in our lives…when we have a narrow vision of the world, of people, of issues. This darkness obscures the truth and as Jesus says in today’s Gospel, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31). A look at the words of Jesus reveals a wide open, generous, compassionate, merciful God. Jesus advises us to welcome the stranger, heal the broken, feed the hungry. But when we view these words through a narrow, stingy, or dingy heart, we miss the opportunity to experience the truth.
The current political climate seems to pit a narrow view of the world against an expansive one. It’s an “us versus them” mentality that diminishes the common good. When I study the words of Jesus, I see a “we are in this together” mentality that promotes the common good. We are quickly coming to the end of Lent and to Good Friday when we celebrate the supreme generosity of Jesus who was willing to die for us all. As we continue our Lenten journey, let’s consider whether the windows of our hearts are wide open or just a sliver. Opening them more might just set us free!