September 11, 2015

Sept. 11

September 11, 2015:  Friday, 23rd Week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  Peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. (1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  With the Lord at my right hand I won't be disturbed; you'll show me delights at your right hand. (psalm)
  • 'Cars on roads' tie:  You'll show me the path to life (psalm)
  • 'Baseball mitt' tie (with cupped hand):  Lord, my allotted portion and 'cup' (psalm) [a stretch because today's tie trumped my 'cups tie']
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  "Can the blind guide the blind?" (gospel)
  • 'Wood block" tie pin:  Remove the wooden beam from your  eye (gospel)
Listen
The Lord speaks to us about rewards:  don't judge and you won't be judged. Don't condemn and you don't be condemned.  The 1st reading and gospel show the 1st step:  acknowledge our own faults (before accusing others).  Paul praises and thanks the Lord because he was judged trustworthy, even though he used to be a persecutor....  This was mercy.
We have to acknowledge our faults before we can see clearly enough ‘to take the splinter out of our brother’s eye.’  Jesus uses the word that he uses with the two-faced:  Hypocrite!  All, including the Pope, who don't acknowledge their own faults become hypocrites.  If you can't acknowledge your faults, you're not a Christian, not part of the beautiful work of reconciliation, peace-making, tenderness, goodness, forgiveness, generosity, and mercy that Christ brought to us.
Stop yourself when you're tempted to speak badly about others; have Paul's courage to remember your sin.  Let's comment about ourselves, not others; it's the first step along the path of magnanimity.  One who only sees the splinters in others' eyes falls into pettiness.  Lord, give us the grace to follow Jesus’ advice to be generous with forgiveness and mercy.
Read

  • 1 Tm 1:1-2, 12-14  Paul, Apostle of Christ Jesusto Timothy, my child in faith:  grace, mercy, and peace from God and Christ Jesus.  I am grateful Christ strengthened me, considered me trustworthy, and appointed me.  I was once a persecutor and arrogant man, but he treated me with mercy.  Our Lord's grace, faith, and love have been abundant.

  • Ps 16:1b-2a, 5, 7-8, 11  "You are my inheritance, O Lord."  I take refuge in you, my portion and cup, who counsel and exhort me.  With you at my right hand, I won't be disturbed.  You'll show me the path to life, joy in your presence, delight at your right hand forever.

  • Lk 6:39-42  “Can the blind guide the blind?  No disciple is superior to the teacher; but every one can be like his teacher.  Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye but not the beam in yours?  How can you say, ‘Let me remove that splinter,’ when you don't notice the beam in your eye?  Hypocrite!  Remove the beam first; then you'll see clearly to remove the splinter.”
Reflect
    • Creighton:  Paul’s letter to Timothy points us towards God's mercy when he writes about his life as blasphemer, persecutor, and an arrogant man mercifully treated.  How does God find us and how does he call us?  
    • One Bread One Body:  "Plank-eyed":  Jesus says we might have a plank lodged in our eye.  If it's not removed, we'll blindly fall into apathy, sin, hatred, unforgiveness, selfishness, and broken relationships.  Maybe God is showing me my plank through others.  When we see it, we may hold onto it because of our hard hearts, but Jesus is the Carpenter knows how to handle planks....
    • Passionist:  Why is our vision of others' faults 20/20 while we're blind to our own?  Perhaps Jesus encouraging us to self-examination.  If we humbly acknowledge our blindness, Jesus will restore our sight....
    • DailyScripture.net:  Jesus' two parables about poor vision allude to "Without vision the people perish!"  An untreated bad eye can cause trouble ending in disaster.  We can only teach others what we've learned. How can I help others overcome their faults if my own blind me? / Physician Luke portrays Jesus as the good physician who seeks out those who desire healing, pardon,and restoration.  Jesus exposes sin, evil, and oppression so we can be set free and restored, but we must first submit to the physician. Jesus wants us to be his instruments of healing, pardon, and restoration, but a judgmental spirit crushes, oppresses, and repels rather than healing, restoring, and attracting.  May I think the best of others....  What I give to others will return to me; may I have only charity, forbearance, and kindness towards others.