The Gospel Today
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.”
Reflection (Sem. Mark Ian V. Abu)
We were taught in childhood how we should follow the commandments and laws of God and the Church; the do’s and don’ts of life. We tried our best to follow every single instruction of the law but also saw how we failed and even repeated the same sins after confessing them. What, then, is our right to correct others on the things that we ourselves haven’t mastered up to now?
Two of the very irritating and bothersome attitudes that we have as Christians are our being unforgiving and our being judgmental. We easily get triggered by the things or persons around us that normally bring us to do or say something that we will be regretting afterwards. Today’s Gospel is reminding us on our seemingly favorite attitude of correcting or just looking for the mistakes of others. We are fond of complaining and considering only the wrongdoings of others while disregarding most of the time our own weaknesses and sins. In the seminary, knowing that I am living with brothers of different backgrounds and upbringing, there is always a great temptation either to disregard or judge others. There are moments that the only clear things I can see from others are their mistakes and shortcomings which easily bring me to name and judge them unjustly.
Jesus is inviting me today to look deeper on to myself and consider also the sins that I have before I correct the mistakes of others. I should consider other people as my companions on the way to Jesus and always put in mind and heart that my life is a journey of mercy, love and kindness with God. Therefore, in correcting others, I need to remember the mercy of God which He first let me experience so that I may also share it with others.
In humility, let us ask the Lord to give us forgiving hearts for we ourselves are forgiven much. May He remove our judgmental and condemning hearts and grant us compassionate hearts like His.