Have you have seen him? “Homeless Jesus” is a bronze sculpture that depicts Jesus as a homeless person, sleeping on a park bench. Installed first in Toronto, a casting was recently installed in front of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, operated by the Jesuits in downtown Detroit. The life-like statue is startling, and can be misinterpreted. Once police received a call from someone who confused the sculpture with a vagrant. You see, the only indication that it represents Jesus is the marks from the nails in the man’s feet. If you don’t look carefully, you may miss him.
It is easy to let our preconceptions cloud our perceptions; to see only what we want to see. Then we can miss seeing Jesus. We miss seeing him on the park bench, in the face of a crying child, perhaps even among our closest friends and loved ones. So how will Jesus reveal himself to me today? Will I see him, or will I miss him?
—Howard Craig is the provincial assistant for Advancement on behalf of the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin provinces of the Society of Jesus.