THEME: Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own?
BY: Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA
HOMILY FOR FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 9 2022
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
1 Corint 9:16-19,22-27
*FROM OUR FIRST READING*
In the first reading, Paul reflects on his life before his meeting with the risen Lord near to Damascus. He is very honest about that past, ‘I used to be a blasphemer and did all I could to injure and discredit the faith’. Yet, he acknowledges that God was merciful to him, ‘Mercy was shown me’. He also displays mercy towards himself. Looking back on that past, he says, ‘until I became a believer I had been acting in ignorance’. He tried to discredit the faith, out of ignorance. While acknowledging the gravity of what he did, he doesn’t pass judgement on himself. We need to be able to forgive ourselves, as Paul was, to suspend judgement on past behaviour that we now recognize to be less than ideal.
*FROM OUR GOSPEL READING*
In the gospel reading, Jesus also calls upon us to be slow to pass judgement on others. We can be preoccupied with the splinter in someone’s eye, while being oblivious to the plank in our own eye. Jesus is suggesting that it is very difficult for us to have the understanding of others that allows us to judge them fairly. We struggle to know what is really going on inside another person, and that limited perspective should make us slow to judge. We look at appearances, whereas only God sees the heart. It is because God sees the heart that he acts towards us with such generosity, understanding and compassion.
A recognition of our own failings can make us more understanding of the failings of others. Jesus could see everyone clearly, because he saw them with the eyes of love. None of us are as loving as Jesus and, so, we never see others with that clarity that Jesus sees them. Jesus suggests in today’s gospel reading that our inability to see others clearly should make us slow to put ourselves forward as their moral better.
May You All Have a blessed Weekend.