8/4/2019 1:14:04 PM
Reflection: What do you see?
When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
When I look in my mirror, I know I am too quick at noticing the bits of myself that I don't like and I imagine parts of myself to be better than they truly are. If I've had a rough day, I find myself looking into the mirror re-enacting all the things that didn't go well that day. But if the day was good, I look in the mirror and find myself thinking I'm the next Tony Stark or Marc Anthony. A mirror always offers us a reflection of who we are but the interpretation of that image is left up to us. That interpretation can, however, be hijacked by things outside of our control. When we suffer through a mental health issue or are overwhelmed with words and images that destroyed our ability to know what a healthy self-image can be, that's when God's gifts of therapy, mental health professionals, and proper medication can help us interpret the image in the mirror in a better way. Yet even when we are mentally healthy, it's difficult to see our true selves in any mirror. We should be able to notice everything that makes us who we are: our beauty, our imperfections, and even how we've changed. But that isn't always easy because when we look in a mirror, there's always a lot to see.
Today's reading from Colossians 3:1-11 reminds us, however, that there's another image hidden in that mirror with us. When we are looking at ourselves, we're also looking at Jesus Christ. In our baptism and in our faith, we are bound up in Christ. That means you are no longer only you; you are also a part of the body of Christ. In the words of Colossians, our life with Christ is as if we were clothed with him. We can imagine looking into a mirror and seeing ourself. But when we blinked, we suddenly saw Jesus. Every time we blinked, the image would change from you to Jesus to you again. Even though you are still exactly who you are, you are also more than you can imagine. You are wrapped up with Christ which means your life is something different. Your life is brand new.
Now our life doesn't always feel new. In fact, life can feel boring, mundane, frustrating, or hard. We could, if we are in a healthy mental space, easily end up focusing only on that part of our reality. But when we do that, we miss a part of who we are. We fail to see how we are Christ's and Christ is ours - forever. And since that is true, we are invited to see ourselves differently. We are called to blink. We are called to see the Christ with-in us and around us. And since we are called to remember that we are clothed with him which means we can become that brand new person God knows we can be.