The Gospel according to Luke (Luke 6:39-42)
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.”
Opening Prayer: Come Holy Spirit. Open my heart and mind to your inspirations in this moment of prayer. Help me to know you better, love you more, and follow you more closely today.
Encountering Christ: Saint Teresa of Ávila, one of the greatest spiritual writers and doctors of the Church, explains in her spiritual masterpiece “Interior Castles,” that one of the first steps on the path to holiness is self-knowledge. Self-knowledge produces humility, because humility is simply having a true opinion about yourself. When a person fails to know himself or herself from the true perspective of the mind of God, then they open themselves up to many errors of judgment. One such error is that they can easily become fixated upon their perceived sins of others.
The Gospel passage depicts a person who gravely lacks self-knowledge because they “do not perceive the wooden beam” in their own eye, meaning, they do not see their own sin. As a result, Jesus explains that this person also becomes fixated upon the “splinter” in their brother’s eye.
When you consider your own thoughts, what do you dwell upon the most all day long? Do you honestly look inward, seeking to know yourself as God knows you? OR do you spend excessive time thinking about others, analyzing and judging their actions? This is an important question to ask yourself and to answer with honesty.
The best way to know yourself is to gaze upon Jesus. When He becomes the focus of your attention throughout the day, you will not only come to know Him, but you will also come to know yourself more honestly. Gazing at the beauty and perfection of our Lord will have the double effect of knowing Him and knowing yourself through His eyes. It will also help you to know others as He sees them.
How does Jesus look at those around you? He looks at them with perpetual mercy. True, at the end of every life, when we pass from this world to the next, we will encounter our particular judgment from our Lord. But while here on earth, God continually gazes upon us with mercy. For that reason, mercy must become our daily mission, and we must build a habit of gazing upon everyone in our life with the eyes of mercy.
Reflect, today, upon our Lord. Look at Him, gaze upon Him, seek to know Him and make Him the focus of your attention. As you do, try to dismiss from your thinking process your own perceived judgments of others. Allow your gaze upon our Lord to help you to not only see Him but to also see others through His eyes. Build this habit and you will be on the fast track to the path to holiness.
Closing Prayer: Lord, you see the beams that keep me from seeing what you see, and you are the Brother who has the power to remove them. Enlighten my mind and strengthen my heart to act on what you show me in this moment of prayer and in the circumstances of my life. I ask you for the grace to see with your eyes and heart.
Action: Reflect, today, upon our Lord. Look at Him, gaze upon Him, seek to know Him and make Him the focus of your attention. As you do, try to dismiss from your thinking process your own perceived judgments of others. Allow your gaze upon our Lord to help you to not only see Him but to also see others through His eyes. Build this habit and you will be on the fast track to the path to holiness!