March 3, 2019
Sunday, March 3
Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 6: 39 – 45
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.
“A good tree does not bear rotten fruit,
nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.
For every tree is known by its own fruit.
For people do not pick figs from thornbushes,
nor do they gather grapes from brambles.
A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good,
but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil;
for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.”
“You hypocrite!” I don’t know about you, but this is not a label that I would ever want associated with me or my actions, especially by Jesus. Jesus has told us in the Gospels that we should not judge, lest we will be judged. In Luke’s Gospel, he was particularly interested in showing his community the way to live authentically as followers of Jesus. In today’s reading, Jesus told His disciples a parable and He asks us “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?” This is perhaps one of the most often quoted verses in Scripture…and maybe one of the most ignored.
So, what is Jesus trying to get across to us with His parable? Jesus is telling us that before we judge the actions of another person, that we should first address our own sins, which may be far greater in comparison. He is telling us not to be so prideful and convinced of our own goodness that we criticize others from a position of self-righteousness. We should instead do some introspection first and correct our own shortcomings before we go after the “splinters” in others. When we point out the sin of others while we ourselves commit the same sin, we condemn ourselves.
Today’s reading refers to wood in several ways…splinter, wooden beam, good tree, and rotten tree. Let us, however, remember the Wood of the Cross as it is the place where all the wounds of sin are healed.
Deacon Paul Zemanek