REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
September 11, 2020
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?” Luke 6:41
Jesus often times encouraged his disciples to learn well or they will be blind guides who lead their followers to ruin. He is insisting that they must listen carefully to what he teaches. They can ask questions. But the purpose of their questioning should be to understand and not to refute.
We must do so as well. We live in a time of, what philosophers call, “deconstructionism.” People, finding problems in the way thing are, want to tear down working structures. Even Christianity is found hopelessly wanting. That is like putting a log in your eye.
We should critique society with the gospel in hand. But we must keep in mind that the gospel has been interpreted in various ways at different junctures of history. We must endeavor to seek its truth and apply it to our times.
The gospel puts us in touch with our friend and Lord Jesus Christ. He is like a compass that keeps us on course in an often-tempestuous world where the tendency of noticing the sins of others is high while neglecting our sins. But why is it so?
First of all, it’s hard to see our own faults because our sin of pride blinds us. Pride keeps us from any honest self-reflection. Pride becomes a mask we wear which presents a false persona. Pride is an ugly sin because it keeps us from the truth. It keeps us from seeing ourselves in the light of truth and, as a result, it keeps us from seeing the log in our own eye.
When we are full of pride, another thing happens. We start to focus in on every small fault of those around us. Interestingly, this Gospel speaks of the tendency to see the “splinter” in your brother’s eye.
What does that tell us? It tells us that those who are full of pride are not so much interested in putting down the serious sinner. Rather, they tend to seek out those who have only small sins, “splinters” as sins, and they tend to try and make them seem more serious than they are. Sadly, those steeped in pride feel far more threatened by the saint than by the serious sinner.
Reflect, today, upon whether or not you struggle with being judgmental toward those around you. Especially reflect upon whether or not you tend to be more critical of those striving for holiness. If you do tend to do this, it may reveal that you struggle with pride more than you realize.
Lord, humble me and help me to be free of all pride. May I also let go of judgmentalness and see others only in the way You want me to see them. Jesus, I trust in You.