Friday of the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
Father Paul Campbell, LC
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.”
Introductory Prayer: God the Father, thank you for the gift of creation, including my own life. God the Son, thank you for redeeming me at the price of your own Body and Blood. God the Holy Spirit, thank you for being the sweet guest of my soul, enlightening my mind, strengthening my spirit and kindling the fire of your love in my heart.
Petition: Lord, help me to grow in humility.
- Blind Guides: Jesus poses a rhetorical question to the crowd: “Can a blind person guide a blind person?” It is obvious that a guide needs to see. If we are talking about guiding people to the kingdom of God, then Jesus is the way. He is the one who has come from his Father; he knows the way. First, we can reflect on his importance and centrality to our journey to heaven. Second, we can also think about ourselves as guides for others. There should be a certain hesitancy, which is not reluctance, when we consider the task of leading others to God. We should be humble and remain very close to the Church that Christ founded to continue his mission on earth.
- Disciples: Christ’s next statement emphasizes that while the disciple is not above his teacher, he can learn as much as the teacher. The disciple of Jesus can learn from him the steps which lead to salvation and eternal life. Christ not only founded the Church to continue his teaching, but he also endowed her with the gift of his Spirit to preserve her from error. Our confidence in teaching others should derive from the knowledge that we are in union with the Church and seek to follow her teachings. Learning is a lifelong process, but religious instruction often ceases with First Communion or Confirmation, and many adults have only the religious formation of a child. What are we doing to become fully qualified in our knowledge of the faith?
- Hypocrites: Evangelization begins with us. It does seem that we are much quicker to detect faults in others than to notice them in ourselves. We can even be really irritated by another person’s faults, even though we ourselves possess them in greater measure than does the person about whom we are complaining. The proud person complains loudly of the conceit and arrogance he sees in his neighbor, but he is blind to his own vice. We need to consider our own condition first—humbly—, and then we need to work on truly becoming more Christ-like. The more we allow God’s grace to transform our lives, the more we can help others.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I am very proud. I so easily get wrapped up in myself, my perspective, my needs and my wants. I put myself before others. Help me to see the faults in myself that you want me to start working on. Give me the courage to address them before I start looking at others.
Resolution: I will identify two or three practical things I can do this week to grow in the virtue of humility.