"I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’"
The initial instinct, after such a heart-wrenching indictment, is to respond back with innocence and ignorance: “
If only we had known it was you, Jesus.”
"If only you had revealed yourself.”
"If only our eyes had been better trained to see.”
But you see, our eyes have been trained to see. We see you, King Jesus, in your royalty and robes. Purples and processions and possessions aplenty. Power and privilege. Majesty and might. A Kingdom come as our will is done. Aren’t these the true makings and marks of a true leader and Lord?
You see, we were looking for thrones, not thorns, Jesus. For gold, not wood. For wine, not blood. Bread in abundance, not a body laid bare. We expected to see you raise the resistance. To fight back with sword and strength. To call on the heavenly host with flashes of lighting and rolls of thunder. To take what is yours. That’s what we wanted to see, Jesus. A victory of arms and bounty. Treasures seen, not a faith unseen. And yet, dear Jesus, we should have seen. For you were surely showing us all along.
A Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. A healed leper running back to give you thanks. A woman touching just the hem of your cloak. A tax collector whose table you shared. A healed blind man cast out of the temple but embraced by you. A repentant prisoner beside you on that cross, a criminal promised paradise, beside you forevermore.
You were giving us eyes to see every step of the way. A light unto our path, a lamp unto our feet. And even now, a flame within. A heart burning in seeing not only you in the least of these, but our very selves as well. For we are our sister’s keeper, are we not, Lord? May we see what you've already shown, Jesus. Forgive us, Lord.
Art: Jess Velarde | "Knowing" | oil on canvas | 2021
Practice: The Stations of the Cross with Ellsworth Kelly
Read Locus Iste's exploration of Ellsworth Kelly's Stations of the Cross )click here) in the exhibition "Austin".