Today’s Gospel: Luke 6:39-42
Let us thank God that we are able to see the written words of today’s gospel on the page. This is one gift of vision. But our Teacher seems to be speaking about a deeper kind of seeing called perception. Using concrete examples of splinters and beams of wood, He guides us to examine the way we look at others. How often we perceive the words or actions of others as faults. How seldom we value the time to take inventory of our own. We perceive ourselves as superior and lack docility in our disposition—surely, they’re the ones who need to be taught. We erroneously spend our days citing splinters precisely because the wooden beam darkens our own sight. And it’s not that there are not splinters to be calculated, but Jesus presents the right order of things: first remove the wooden beam from your own eye so you can see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.
This ability to see clearly means we do so with love. What a gift it can be to receive a charitable correction from someone we know really cares about us. It is never a comfortable experience to have someone draw our faults up before our eyes, but when it is done gently and lovingly, and prayerfully, deep down we are truly grateful. We are so often not aware of our error-splinters, and to be given the opportunity to amend our ways is a grace. Similarly, we can only love others in this same way because we are humbly and keenly aware of our own shortcomings.
When I am hurt by someone, or perceive their words or actions as wrong, do I remember to bring these emotions to prayer, to be a disciple, and ask my Teacher how to respond with love? Do I humbly receive charitable correction?
Lord Jesus, I want to see clearly, and I want to perceive others in love. Only you can teach me how. Show me my beams, and come with your power to remove them!
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Cynthia Ann Costello