Ordinary Time 11: Friday

In ‘light’ of Jesus’ wisdom teaching concerning the eye as the lamp of one’s body, He directs that the eye must be “sound.” The New American Bible translates the Greek word ἁπλοῦς (haplous) as “sound” whereas other English translations render the adjective “healthy” or “clear.” When viewed in the context of the remaining verses of this section, “sound,” “healthy” and “clear” are appropriate translations. No matter the particular word used to translate ἁπλοῦς, one might ask what makes an eye sound, healthy or clear?

In the culture of Greek antiquity, ἁπλοῦς meant “single” not just in terms of quantity, but also ‘single as free from any contamination, guile or distraction.’ ἁπλοῦς also conveyed a sense of “simple” or “plain” that enabled one to view or apprehend truth. A reality that was considered “simple” or “plain” in antiquity was free from complications or embellishments that clouded or distorted reality, regardless of whether or not the intention was to deceive. In time, ἁπλοῦς acquired addition meanings such as “sincere” or “genuine.”

Jesus directs that His disciples’ eyes are ἁπλοῦς – “single” in the Object they behold, namely, Himself. Eyes riveted on Jesus, especially Jesus crucified, are eyes that behold in wonder the simple awe of His sacrificial love for all people. Eyes that comprehend the depth of self-emptying love bathes the body and mind in healing, forgiving mercy that ignites a desire to respond with a life lived in harmony with the One Who is Truth.

As Jesus’ teaching on being ἁπλοῦς is proclaimed today at Mass, consider …
  • Praying Psalm 22 at some point today before an image of Jesus crucified.
  • Examining who and what I look at ... are these viewings reflective of being a disciple of Jesus?
  • Do I see Jesus in the poor and suffering?

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen