Homily for Friday of the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: Nemo Dat Quod non-Habet; You Cannot Give What You don’t Have
By: Fr. Evaristus Abu
Homily for Friday September 13 2019
(Friday 13th September 2019. Read 1 Timothy 1:1-2,12-14, Psalm 16 Luke 6:39-42)
“Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they, not both fall into a pit?” (Luke 6:39)
Jesus asks a very important question today: “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye” (Luke 6:42)? This question applies very much to us today.
For instance, every Nigerian seems to know exactly what is wrong with this country. Every single person on the street has at least one or two pieces of advice for our leaders. We all have brilliant ideas that can make this country become heaven in a matter of minutes, but nothing is working. Why? We feel that “they” are the problem not knowing that we ourselves are the problem.
We are trying to take our specks from the eyes of our leaders forgetting that we have large logs in our eyes. We are trying to offer advice that we are not ready to follow. Jesus was being prophetic when he asked: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they, not both fall into a pit?” In truth, we are in a pit not just because of our blind leaders, but because we ourselves are blind.
Our major problem is that we barely take our time to examine ourselves so as to rid ourselves of the logs in our eyes. We do not practice the daily examination of conscience; so we are so blind to our personal weaknesses. The more we deny our own blindness, the less we are likely to see. Examination of conscience is being able to face myself and tell myself the truth, own up to my faults, admit my mistakes, note my weaknesses so that I can begin to make amends and grow.
It is funny how we expect from others the very things we do not have. It is funny how we crucify others and ridicule them publicly for crimes which we do in secret. It is funny how we point accusing fingers at others for sins which we are most guilty of. Very often, we are able to see clearly the speck in our neighbour’s eye because it resembles the log in ours, that is, we project our biting consciences outwards. What is it that you hate most in others? Just know that you too are guilty of that same thing.
One of the secrets of Paul’s success as a great missionary and evangelist was his ability to thoroughly examine his own conscience and admit his faults. St. Paul was not a pretender, he didn’t try to sweep his past under the carpet. In today’s first reading, St. Paul writes: “I thank him who has given me strength for this, Christ Jesus our Lord because he judged me faithful by appointing me to his service, though I formerly blasphemed, persecuted and insulted him” (1 Timothy 1:12-13).
When people tell you your mouth is smelly, you might fight them for insulting you, but the day you are able to actually perceive the odour coming out of your own mouth, that is the very day you would rid yourself of all such odours. You are not as perfect as you like to assume, take out the log in your own eye and these specks will start falling off from the eyes of others. The best correction is that which begins within me.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, may my life become a Gospel to my generation, Amen.
We celebrate St. John Chrysostom today, a bishop and doctor of the Church. One of his famous quotes is: “If you cannot find Christ in the beggar at the church door, you will not find Him in the chalice.”
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Friday of the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: 1 Timothy 1:1-2,12-14, Psalm 16 Luke 6:39-42).