The Single Eye

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The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound (single), your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!  No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”  (Matthew 6:22-24)

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Although we naturally have two eyes, good vision occurs when the eyes work together giving us a single vision.  With two eyes we can have depth perception.  Although each eye is separate, they normally work together.   In Matthew 6:22 when Jesus talks about the eye being “sound”, He uses a word that also means “single”.  We have two eyes but we do understand Christ’s expression about the eye (singular) being the lamp of the body – we see best when our two eyes see as one.  We use eye in the singular when talking about the eye of the mind or the eye of the heart.  The vision is one.  When our two eyes see as the one eye, our vision is good, sound, whole.  Such vision, whether physical or spiritual, is what we seek as Christians, and such healthy vision we believe is possible for us in Jesus Christ.   To have such single vision is health and wholeness.

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We know in our English language, such singleness of heart and mind is considered whole and good.  Think about the expression :

Double minded.    What does it imply?

Two faced.

A divided heart.

A forked tongue.

Speaking from both sides of the mouth.

All this doubleness and divisiveness we understand as not good.

So, we can also encounter this in church humor.

Why does priest have 2 eyes?

With one as the good shepherd he always watches out for his flock, his parish.

With the other, he always is looking for a better parish.

Conversely,

why do parishioners have 2 eyes?

With one they can watch their priest and look after him.

With the other, they can always be looking for a better priest.

We realize in the humor, that divided vision is not good, wholesome, holistic, loving.  It is divided vision with different interests.

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We believe Christ, the incarnate God came to bring an end to all divisions, to bring healing and wholeness to us humans.

Christ Jesus, God incarnate, brings together  Divinity and humanity, Creator and creation, spiritual and physical, heaven and earth.

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And we Orthodox believe in the Divine Liturgy we also experience this unity of all things found in Christ.  In the Liturgy we encounter the bringing together of heaven and earth, of the spiritual and physical worlds, of saints and sinners, of the living and dead, of humans and angels, of humanity and all creation.

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As we Orthodox understand salvation, in Christ, healing takes place and all the divisions which resulted from sin are brought to an end.

No more double vision, or divided hearts and minds.

St. James tells us to let our yes be yes and our no be no (James 5:12)- no doubleness of meaning or speech.  St. James goes on to say:

For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by humankind, but no human being can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening fresh water and brackish? Can a fig tree, my brethren, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.  (James 3:7-12)

In Christ, we are to live a wholeness, a unity of being, united in God.  This is also the goal of our spiritual life – to bring our self into unity with Christ, into a oneness of being with our incarnate Savior.  We are to rid ourselves of all double standards, divisions, brokenness.  We are striving to be whole at every moment of our life.

So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.   (Matthew 7:17-19)

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