If we really are truthful with ourselves, then we must admit that we are hypocrites. Being a hypocrite comes naturally to us humans. This is because we judge; we look at others through our own eyes, just as others look at us through theirs. It is a thing of perspective but, as with all things, we risk thinking that our perspective is the only one that exists.
The world has become a tribal, partisan, binary, rather unforgiving place. Not to sound pessimistic, but we need only look at Media, at the news, to see that we are are growing apart. As well as there being so many posts to read and have a judgement upon, we are also invited to comment on these posts. And, it is when we scroll down to see those comments that we see the unpleasantness of the human condition, all of which is based upon lack of perspective.
There is a human being who has the most extraordinarily wide and spacious perspective on all things. That person is Jesus. In today’s gospel we are asked to fish the log out of our own eye before we speak of the splinter in our neighbour’s. In a real way Jesus is asking us to remember our own frailty, our own humanity. Just as he remembered his humanity and died for our sins, so have we the opportunity live by his example and ‘be’ people of humility. As it is said, where there is humility there is humanity. Indeed, to ‘be’ people of humility is to ‘be’ people of the cross, in other words, to be Christians, to be the witnesses of Jesus Christ. May we engage with others and with ourselves this week in such a way that we are humble, that we hear and recognise other people’s perspectives as well as our own.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 6: 39-45.
Jesus told a parable to his disciples,
‘Can one blind man guide another? Surely both will fall into a pit? The disciple is not superior to his teacher; the fully trained disciple will always be like his teacher. Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own? How can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me take out the splinter that is in your eye”, when you cannot see the plank in your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter that is in your brother’s eye.
‘There is no sound tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again a rotten tree that produces sound fruit. For every tree can be told by its own fruit: people do not pick figs from thorns, nor gather grapes from brambles. A good man draws what is good from the store of goodness in his heart; a bad man draws what is bad from the store of badness. For a man’s words flow out of what fills his heart.
The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.