September 12, 2008
Friday of the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
Luke 6: 39-42
He also told them a parable: "Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, 'Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for this time to be with you. I believe that you are here with me. I am never alone. Increase my faith in your love. Impress it deeply into my heart, so I can love you more and more every day.
Petition: Lord, help me to grow in humility.
1. 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.
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?
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 we are complaining about. 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.
Dialogue 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. I’m so bothered by criticism that I don’t like people trying to tell me what to do. Yet at the same time, I’m quick to criticize my neighbor. I can find fault with everyone and everything, and I do little to stop myself from sharing my criticism with others. Help me to eliminate this critical spirit, this critical judgment I have for everyone but myself. 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.
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