Can I Borrow Your Reading Glasses?


I can’t read this. Does anyone have a pair of reading glasses? Oh, thank you, those are perfect.

There we go. Brothers and sisters, Christ will be magnified in my body whether by my life or by my death. Christ will be magnified in my body.

Have you ever been to a restaurant and gone without your reading glasses and you have had to ask to borrow someone’s glasses? Thank you. Then once you put them on you can see clearly. You can see the menu and decide what you want to order.

The reality is that we become the reading glasses for Christ. We become his magnifying glasses for the world. There are a many people out there in the world that can’t see Christ clearly. They cannot see God clearly. Sometimes they do not think they cannot see Him at all. They are searching and sometimes they do not even know they need to ask for the glasses.

St. Paul said, “Christ will be magnified in my body.  He is going to be magnified in your body.”

When you go out in the world today and people cannot see Christ, or they are seeing a blurry image of Him, or maybe they are not even sure they can see Him, all of a sudden you became that handy pair of reading glasses they are looking for. You become Christ for the world.  I want you to think about that.

First of all, reading glasses are inexpensive. They are kind of cheap. They can be found anywhere. The same is true for us in a way. We can be found anywhere. Anywhere you go into the world, you can become an accessible way for people to encounter Christ. An accessible way for people to experience and see Christ.

Sometimes people say today we are a little discouraged, right, because not a lot of people are going to church. I have to say, if you look around right now, if there are, I don’t know how many hundreds of people are here right now, maybe a couple of hundred. There are two hundred pair of reading glasses going out in the world today.

There are two hundred Christs in Mentor. That means right now, people are going to see Christ through you.

First of all, you do make Christ really accessible. Wherever you go, suddenly you become that handy pair of reading glasses where people can see Him.

Secondly, when we receive the Eucharist today, we become transformed into Christ. We become one with Him. When you go out into the world, it almost doesn’t matter. Just like prayer, 90% of prayer is just like being there. Well 90% of Christ being in the world is just being there. Just by showing up at different places, suddenly people are going to experience Christ without you even realizing it. You are going to become His reading glasses without you even being aware of it. Just being there is the second thing.

The third thing is, and St. Paul says this so powerfully. It is that He will be magnified in our body. What if in life or death,  no matter what we are going through in our lives, even if we are dying, Christ is going to be magnified in our body. The third way, I think, that we can become Christ for the world is in our suffering.

Mother Teresa was being interviewed here in New York. She looked at a hospital and just shook her head and said, “There’s so much wasted suffering there.” Because Christ is in the hospital. Christ is in the suffering. Even if we feel like we can’t go out into the world. Maybe we are homebound or maybe we are going through some kind of illness, even in that we can become Christ through our suffering. We can become that lens, that magnifying glass.  

Just remember today there are many people in the world who need reading glasses. There are even more people in the world that need Christ glasses. They need the ability to see Christ magnified in the world today. You are going to do it in very simple ways, just by being there. Just by showing up and being present and by handling whatever cross or suffering you may be carrying, and by handling that with joy and a smile.  

You can become Christ’s magnifying lens in the world. A lot of people need reading glasses. Even more people need Christ. May Christ be magnified in your body.

Turns out I do not need reading glasses. I could not see anything when I put those on. I have a few more years before I need them.

We now stand together and profess our faith.

About the Author Fr. Michael Denk

Fr. Michael was ordained into priesthood in the Diocese of Cleveland on May 12, 2007. He is dedicated to helping others encounter Christ through the celebration of the Eucharist, preaching, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, spiritual direction, and prayer.

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I'm Father Michael J. Denk, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. I am a contributor of content to The Prodigal Father Productions, Inc., a non-profit corporation functioning in accord with the traditions and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The corporation and I are separate, it doesn't speak for me, the parish, or on behalf of the Diocese of Cleveland, and I do not speak for it.