The splinter and the plank

Fr Paul reads from Luke’s Gospel (6: 39-42) in which Jesus tells his disciples the parable about the blind leading the blind.

This Gospel is drawing to a conclusion the Sermon on the Plain as the writer of Luke gives us two warnings of Jesus. Both warnings use exaggeration and vivid language. The first of those warnings is in today’s Gospel and the second will be in tomorrow’s.

Today in this Gospel we hear the exaggeration in the language between the splinter and plank. This first warning from Jesus is against using others to measure ourselves.  The Gospel is teaching us that it is so easy to compare ourselves with others and to focus on their faults in order to divert attention from ours – to use a phrase ‘I might have some faults but look at theirs.’

Fr Paul says this Gospel is challenging us, in our time of reflection today, to look at ourselves openly and honestly, as if we were looking in the mirror. Not to compare ourselves to others but to simply acknowledge our own faults and failings and own them in our own lives.  Then, with God’s help, through that openness and honesty about who we are and what our faults are, we may then continue to serve Christ in his mission.