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Homily for Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time, 17 June 2022, Mt 6:19-23

There was one lay renewal movement that began in the island of Mallorca in Spain in the 1950’s: the CURSILLO DE CRISTIANDAD. It became very popular in Spain and soon was exported to Latin America and the United States in the 1960’s and 70’s and spread like a wildfire all over the world and reached the Philippines.

People think this movement has simply died a natural death or burned out like a brush fire—what we call “ningas kugon” in Tagalog. I think it merely laid the foundation for the myriads of lay renewal movements that soon emerged later on—in new forms, in the BECs, the PREX, the Charismatic communities, and many other groups that sustained the renewal of the laity in the Church in the last few decades. You ask where all the former Cursillistas have gone, they will tell you they multiplied themselves by establishing new lay movements around the world.

Aside from their famous song DE COLORES, the Cursillistas were also known for their famous icon of Christ which they called “THE EYE. “ I know because my late father became a member of this movement and adorned our family altar with that icon. This icon called THE EYE is actually a close-up picture of the image of Jesus with his Sacred Heart exposed, and with well-pronounced eyes, looking at the onlooker straight in the eye.

I used to wonder why the icon was called “The Eye” (singular) and not “The Eyes” (plural)—if it is calling attention to Jesus’ pair of eyes. Today’s Gospel makes me realize that THE EYE that it’s referring to is actually THE HEART, the Sacred Heart portrayed as pierced, bleeding and burning.

Remember that line that became the favorite quotation of beauty contestants at the QnA portion to test their wit and articulation? I am referring to that part in Antoine de St Exupery’s book THE LITTLE PRINCE, where the fox character tells the little prince a secret: “It is only with the heart that one can see clearly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Too bad, that saying has become cliché, but it contains a profound truth that our Gospel today is elaborating on.

“Seeing well” in this passage is of course a mere metaphor for “discerning properly” between right and wrong, truth and falsehood, essential and unessential, good and evil. What Jesus is saying is, “One good sign that you have a discerning heart is when you have the wisdom to pursue the things of real worth or value in this world,” or what he calls “the heavenly treasures that last, that no one can steal from you.”

And so the two parts of the Gospel—are actually related: the first part about the treasure and the second part about the eye. Here’s how I’d connect them: “Tell me what you SEE as your treasure in this world and I will tell you where your HEART is.” What matters is TO SEE WITH THE HEART! And if we see as treasure what is passing, if we hold as truth what is false, as good what is bad, then we live in darkness! It means our hearts are blinded.

I started with the Cursillo and mentioned their theme song “De Colores”. When my late father joined the Cursillo, I remember him greeting his brother Cursillistas DE COLORES! And I also learned the song. Now I realize that what it is saying is—if we only learn to see with THE EYE, namely, the pierced, bleeding and burning HEART OF JESUS, then we will be able to perceive God’s grace at work in the world and in our lives. To see with THE EYE is to see with the heart of Jesus—not in black and white, but “IN COLORS” (DE COLORES). We get to see God’s amazing grace that saves the wretched sinner and enables him to hear the sweet sound of God’s voice, so that he who once was lost is found, and he who once was blind can truly see.

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