Lenten Reflection: Brother Robert Bimonte

Throughout Lent, Manhattan College's students, faculty and staff will reflect on the season.

Brother Robert Bimonte photoBrother Robert Bimonte, FSC, is Manhattan College's Lasallian Scholar in Residence. He has conducted numerous retreats and workshops on a wide variety of topics, including collaborative learning, the power of myth, transformational leadership and brain-compatible learning. 

"The wicked said among themselves, thinking not aright: 'Let us beset the just one because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings.'" (Wisdom 2:1)

At one time or another, all of us human beings fall into the trap of thinking we know everything. It is so easy for us to be content with our own perspective, and as a result put on blinders that prevent us from seeing another's point of view, or worse yet, not seeing another person as equal.

In today's Gospel, people cling to their preconceived notions about the Messiah, convinced that their view is correct. As a result, they are unable to see Jesus as the long awaited Messiah who is right in front of them.

All of us make snap judgements about people as a result of our own preconceived notions of how others should think or act. Sadly, these are sometimes rooted in stereotypes or prejudice, and the only way to rid ourselves of these false beliefs is to have the experience of being wrong. 

In my own life, I know that I have often had to change my view of another person once I heard their story. One of the deepest ways we human beings connect with one another is by sharing our stories. Story speaks to both the head and the heart and tells the other person who you really are. Once we know another person's story, it shatters our preconceived notions and prejudices, because we see them as another struggling human being just like us.

If you are having difficulty relating to another person, listen to his or her story.

This passage is included in Brother Robert Bimonte's A Path to Wholeness: Meditations for Lent, published by the National Catholic Educational Association.

By Pete McHugh