SUNDAY 8TH WEEK YEAR C
Today’s readings instruct us to share our Christian life, love, and spiritual health by our words, and to avoid gossiping about, and passing rash, thoughtless and pain-inflicting judgments on others, thus damaging their good reputation and causing them irreparable harm.
The first reading teaches that what is inside us is revealed through our conversation. In the second reading St. Paul advises the Corinthian Christians “to be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain,”. In today’s Gospel, Jesus condemns our careless, malicious and rash judgments about the behavior, feelings, motives or actions of others by using the examples of one blind man leading another blind man and one man with a log stuck in his eye trying to remove a tiny speck from another’s eye.
Let us acknowledge the hypocrisy we all live every day. Ignoring the glaring faults of our own, we point the finger of accusation, and whisper about them and say, “How could they?” instead of asking, “How could we?” We must look to our own sin first. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, I must be honest with myself. If I have trouble seeing my sin, and my failures, I have to go to Jesus and ask Him to point them out to me through prayer and through His Word. I must be ready for some painful “I” surgery. But I am sure to come out with better vision, and better eyesight, because I looked to myself first.
A man was flying back home with his three children and on the flight, the children were so unruly that one passenger on the other side of the isle told his own children, “never behave like those children.” When the father of the children heard this he calmly said, “Sir, my children are normally well behaved. It has been very difficult three days for them. We have just buried their mother.” These words totally transformed the man who had rush judged the three children.
The two images of a blind guide and a rotten tree are related. Both images challenge us to be transformed so that our words may match the integrity and character in our lives. Jesus calls hypocrites, those who notice a tiny splinter in the eyes of others, but are blind to the beam in their own eye.
The more spiritually sensitive we become the more we realise the impact of our actions on God and on the people around us. We have to come to an accurate awareness of our failings before we can begin to rectify them. Our aim in life ought to be to become like that sound tree we heard of in today’s Gospel, which produces good fruit. We want to live our lives as true Apostles of Jesus Christ. We want to be ministers of his Word in the world. We want to serve the Lord in the best way we can. In order to do these things we need to look into our own lives, to see our own faults and aim to overcome them. We want serve the Lord with all our hearts and who make a real contribution to the world.
It means that our lives produce its ‘fruits’ that is our actions and our words, in the way we deal with one another. Thus, we will find that a person who is good and kind in heart is unlikely to do things that are wicked or evil, and vice versa. However, unless we make the conscious effort to resist temptations and not to give in to the demands and pressures of our pride, ego, greed, ambition and desires, we will likely end up committing more and more sinful acts. All that we need is the desire and the willingness to persevere through the challenges we may encounter if we keep our faith in God, and remain in God’s love always. We are called to persevere through the challenges and the sufferings we may have to encounter for God’s sake, as in the end, our rewards will be rich and wonderful, nothing less than an eternity of true joy and happiness with God. This coming week as we approach the Season of Lent let us open our hearts to be transformed into more authentic witnesses by word and deed.