Mar 3 2019 Reflection
Sunday 3 March 2019
First Reading: SIR 27:4-7
Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.
PS 92:2-3, 13-14, 15-16
Second Reading: 1 COR 15:54-58
Gospel Reading: LK 6:39-45
Today’s Note: Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus told his disciples a parable,
“Can a blind person guide a blind person?
Will not both fall into a pit?
No disciple is superior to the teacher;
but when fully trained,
every disciple will be like his teacher.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’
when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye?
You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.
“A good tree does not bear rotten fruit,
nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.
For every tree is known by its own fruit.
For people do not pick figs from thornbushes,
nor do they gather grapes from brambles.
A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good,
but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil;
for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.”
Remove the wooden beam from your eye first. (Luke 6:42)
People love to judge other people and give advice, even when they don’t have much to offer. It can be kind of cute to see children spouting off about topics they know nothing about, but it gets a little scarier when they grow up. Depending on how serious the topic is, it can become downright dangerous, like “the blind leading the blind.”
As Jesus points out in today’s Gospel, we can be particularly prone to offering unnecessary, as well as ill-conceived, advice in the spiritual or moral realm. It can seem so clear to us what needs to happen in someone’s life that it’s hard to hold back. But when it comes to our own lives, we are more cautious because we see the big picture, and we know there is no quick and easy fix.
Only God sees the true big picture. And because he does, he treats us with unending patience, grace, and mercy. What a comforting truth this is! You can rest peacefully, secure in the faith that your heavenly Father has you in the palm of his hand.
But here too is where a major challenge lies: God sees everyone’s big picture. He has every person in the palm of his hand—even the people you understand the least. This means that you can leave everyone else to his care. You don’t have to worry about changing them!
Of course, you should love the people around you and be involved in their lives. But try to do it by treating them with the same merciful, loving approach that God has. Seek to understand and empathize, not condemn and overadvise.
Think of one person whom you are most tempted to judge or give advice to. Now try to isolate one conversation you have had in the last day or two when you gave in to the temptation to try to fix him or her. How could you have offered grace and love instead? Finally, watch for the next conversation, and lead with love rather than correction.
“Lord, help me to reflect your grace and love to the people around me.”