My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why so far from my call for help, from my cries of anguish? My God, I call by day, but you do not answer; by night, but I have no relief.
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the glory of Israel.
In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted and you rescued them. To you they cried out and they escaped; in you they trusted and were not disappointed. But I am a worm, hardly human, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they curl their lips and jeer; they shake their heads at me: (Psalm 22: 2-8)
Is it possible to recognize Christ in everyone? If all men (and women) are created in the image and likeness of God, then why can't we see it sometimes. For some people are truly evil. Some people are truly wicked. Some people don't deserve to be loved. Murderers. Rapists. Prostitutes.
Some people truly despise and hate God.
Do they still bear His image?
And they are still worthy of loving even if they don't deserve it. (Even if they will not turn from their wicked lifestyle to a life of God...Even if they lose their chance at salvation.)
When we are born, we are born with a certain innocence. Unstained by the world (with the exception of original sin.) At that point...at birth, we probably resemble our Lord and Saviour more than any other time in our life.
Unfortunately, as we grow older, the world lashes out at us and scars us. It beats us and wants to destroy us.
Eventually for some, the beating by the world (perhaps it's an abusive husband or neglectful parent or callous friends) disfigures them and they become of the world. Hateful. Prideful. Angry.
And then they become like a worm. Hardly human. Christ's image in them is so scarred and bruised that we don't recognize it.
And we scorn them some more.
And they become more bitter...and angry.
All of us are scarred. All of us have had the image of Christ in us mangled to the point that it may not be recognizable to others.
What are we to do when this happens?
Christ commands us to turn the other cheek.
Christ commands us to love our enemies.
Christ commands us to pick up our cross.
Christ commands us to follow Him.
Preach the Gospel. And if necessary...use words. (St. Francis of Assisi)
At the pillar, Jesus was whipped and beaten. Ridiculed and mocked. He was despised--for no reason. He became hardly recognizable.
But He was still God.
He was not angry.
He was not bitter.
He was not prideful.
He just silently preached the Gospel.