It is said that on a certain occasion a homeless man entered a church with his bottle of wine, his old clothes, and his badly groomed beard. Upon entering, the person who saw him looked at him displeased, and invited him to sit on the last bench and in the corner against the wall. During the meeting, the pastor of the church reported that, as everyone already knew, the new pastor who would replace him was going to be presented. When called, that man who had been hidden and set aside in a corner, got up with his bottle of wine in his hand and went up to the Ambo. Those members of that church had underestimated their new pastor for his appearance, which made them fall into great shame and taught them a great lesson.
But let’s not think that this only happens in this story; this is a reality that is lived in many places and even in our time. Whoever does not comply with the patterns that we believe to be correct and established is not entirely welcome, that is why James warns us. We tend to look at things from our own perspective. The problem with that is that we should be looking at things from God’s orientation. We have lost God’s point of view, and with this I am not saying that we should dress badly or smell bad, but rather that this should remain in the background.
We need to return to the primitive tastes of the gospel, of concern for widows, orphans, the poor, and lepers. From the beginning, the Church opened its doors to all and welcomed those despised by the world. However, sometimes it seems that today we separate those who are like us from those who are not.
Why have we lost this vision? Because we have loved our needs more than those of others, because we love ourselves more than our neighbor, because we have stopped seeing people through the filter of heaven and we see them through the merely human and materialistic filter. Jesus called us to be rich in faith; and we have a challenge ahead. We are called to love others as ourselves, the one who dresses, speaks, acts, thinks, and lives like us and the one who does not. This is the great commandment and the test of living the first one: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart.” How much do we love God?