Many people are familiar with the famous story about Michelangelo who accepted the challenge of sculpting a statue out of a flawed piece of rock. The result of his work was the famous David statue, still known as one of the most beautiful works of art in the world. Asked how he was able to sculpt such a piece when everyone else who tried had failed he said he did not sculpt the stunning piece, rather he released it from its imprisonment in the rock. Michelangelo noticed the beauty of what appeared to be a useless piece of rock.
We are God’s creations. In the Gospel Jesus reminds us that it was he who chose us, not we who chose him (John 15:9-17). It was God who first loved us, not the other way around ( I John 4:7-10) In all of this, it is God who took the initiative in creating us, in loving us, in saving us. Our responsibility is to notice God’s creative, saving love and from there flows our life’s direction and decisions. As someone once put it, God loves Mary and the devil the same, the difference is that Mary noticed and was thrilled and the devil didn’t.
The sign that we have noticed God’s unconditional love are our efforts to love one another. Loving one another means noticing, being willing to see further than what first appears. It means noticing the goodness and beauty that is already there. It is the ability to notice that releases goodness and life in others and in our world. This is the love of a mother who can see the goodness of her child even when the child cannot. The love of concerned people who see the ravages of poverty and hunger and notice the real human beings who are suffering. The love of the person who does not see cultural differences as obstacles, rather as opportunities to notice something wonderful and good, The love of people who look around in a church and see creations of God, not just other faces.
When we see further than we thought we could, we notice how God is at work.
When we notice, goodness is released and we can be sure that something beautiful will emerge.