Friday, September 9, 2016
1) Opening prayer
God our Father,
you redeem us
and make us your children in Christ.
Look upon us,
give us true freedom
and bring us to the inheritance you promised.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
2) Gospel Reading - Luke 6,39-42
Jesus also told them a parable, ‘Can one blind person guide another? Surely both will fall into a pit? Disciple is not superior to teacher; but fully trained disciple will be like teacher.
Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the great log in your own? How can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me take out that splinter in your eye,” when you cannot see the great log in your own? Hypocrite! Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter in your brother’s eye.
• Today’s Gospel gives us some passages of the discourse which Jesus pronounced on the plains after having spent the night in prayer (Lk 6, 12) and after he had called the twelve to be his apostles (Lk 6, 13-14). Many of the phrases in this discourse had already been pronounced on other occasions, but Luke, imitating Matthew, puts them together in this Discourse of the Plains.
• Luke 6, 39: The parable of the blind man who guides another blind man. Jesus tells a parable to the disciples: “Can a blind man guide another blind man? Will not both of them fall into a hole?” A parable of one line, quite similar to the warnings which, in Matthew’s Gospel, are addressed to the Pharisees: “Alas for you, blind guides!” (Mt 23, 220.127.116.11.26) Here in the context of the Gospel of Luke, this parable is addressed to the animators of the communities who consider themselves the masters of truth, superior to others. Because of this they are blind guides.
• Luke 6, 40: Disciple – Master. “The disciple is not greater than the teacher, but the well prepared disciple will be like the teacher” Jesus is the Master, not the professor. The professor in class teaches different subjects, but does not live with the pupils. The Master or Lord does not teach lessons, he lives with the pupils. His subject matter is himself, his life witness, his way of living the things that he teaches. Living together with the Master, the Lord has three aspects: (1) the Master is the model or example to be imitated (cf. Jn 13, 13-15). (2) The disciple not only contemplates and imitates, he commits himself to the same destiny of the Master, with his temptations (Lk 22, 28). His persecution (Mt 10, 24-25), his death (Jn 11, 16); (3) He not only imitates the model, he not only assumes the commitment, but arrives at identifying himself with him: “I live, but it is not I who live, but Christ lives in me!” (Ga 2, 20). This third aspect is the mystical dimension of the following of Jesus, fruit of the action of the Spirit.
• Luke 6,41-42: The splinter in the brother’s eye. “Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the great log in your own? How can you say to your brother: ‘Brother, let me take out that splinter in your eye, when you cannot see the great log in your own? Hypocrite! Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter in your brother’s eye”. In the Sermon on the Mountain, Matthew treats the same theme and explains a bit better the parable of the splinter in the eye. Jesus asks for a creative attitude which will make us capable to go and encounter the others without judging them, without preconceptions and rationalizing, but accepting the brother (Mt 7, 1-5). This total openness toward others considering them as brothers/sisters will arise in us only when we are capable of relating with God with total trust as his children (Mt 7, 7-11).
4) Personal questions
• Splinter and log in the eye. How do I relate with others at home and in my family, in work and with my colleagues, in community and with the brothers and sisters?
• Master and disciple. How am I a disciple of Jesus?
5) Concluding Prayer
Lord, how blessed are those who live in your house;
they shall praise you continually.
Blessed those who find their strength in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. (Ps 84,4-5)