Sep 11 2020 Reflection
Friday 11 September 2020
First Reading: 1 COR 9:16-19, 22B-27
How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
PS 84:3, 4, 5-6, 12
Gospel Reading: LK 6:39-42
Today’s Note: Friday of the Twenty-third Week 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.”
Remove the wooden beam from your eye. (Luke 6:42)
It might not be obvious, but the seemingly unconnected verses in today’s Gospel are all related. They all have to do with examining our consciences and confessing our sin.
Jesus encourages us to remove the “beam” from our eye (Luke 6:42) so that we can be clear-eyed guides for the people around us (6:39). He wants us to pay attention to our own faults and weaknesses so that we can become disciples who have been “fully trained” and are like our Teacher himself (6:40).
Let’s face it, when we’re stuck in a pattern of sin, it is as if a wooden beam were blocking our vision. As long as we tolerate or excuse our sin, as long as we don’t seek out the grace of reconciliation, we are blinded. What’s more, we remain immature disciples, and we might even end up leading people away from Jesus by our poor example.
But all is not lost. God has given us the gift of self-examination and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. That’s how the sin that blocks our vision is removed. We begin to see the difference between sin and holiness more clearly. We begin to look at the people around us differently. We become less likely to notice their faults and more likely to see Christ in them. We become less likely to jump to judgmental thoughts about them and more likely to forgive them.
Beyond the forgiveness, examining our conscience and confessing our sin are vital in our training as disciples. We face up to the ways we fall short, and we receive the grace to overcome our shortcomings. Through the sacrament and the counsel of the priest, we begin to see things the way Jesus does and are released from the hold that sin has on us. As a result, we become better friends, better neighbors, and more true to our vocation. We are more able to love the people around us and to lead them, not into a pit, but to Jesus!
All this grace is available to you in Confession. So don’t hesitate to celebrate this healing and transforming sacrament. Let Jesus open your eyes and train you to be a mature disciple—one who looks more and more like the Teacher.
“Lord, open my eyes so that I can follow you and be an example to everyone who sees me.”