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Monday, 02 March 2015 19:52

Lectio Divina: 8th Sunday of Ordinary Time (C)

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8th Sunday of Ordinary time (C)

A parable which calls us to conversion

The Tree is recognized by its fruit.

Luke 6:39-45



1. OPENING PRAYER



Oh Holy Spirit, come to my aid in my weakness and teach me to pray. Spirit of the Father, without You I do not know what to ask for nor how to ask for it. But You Yourself come to my assistance and pray to the Father on my behalf, with sighs which no words can express. Oh Spirit of God, you know what is in my heart: pray in me as the Father desires. Oh Holy Spirit, come to the aid of my weakness and teach me how to pray. Amen.

(Cf Rm 8:26-27)



2. LECTIO: THE READING



a)  A key to the Reading



Today’s Gospel presents us with passages from the teachings which Jesus pronounced on the plain, after having spent the night in prayer (Lk 6:12), and after having called the Twelve to be His apostles (Lk 6:13-14). Many of these teachings, woven together in this discourse, were pronounced by Jesus on other occasions. But, imitating Matthew, Luke places them all together in this Sermon on the Plain.



b)  A division of the Text to facilitate our Reading



Lk 6:39: The parable of the blind leading the blind.

Lk 6:40: The disciple and the teacher.

Lk 6:41-42: The splinter in the eye of your brother.

Lk 6:43-45: The parable of the tree that produces good fruit.



c) The Text: Luke, 6:39-45



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. "A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not pick figs from thornbushes, nor do they gather grapes from brambles. A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks."



3. A MOMENT OF SILENT PRAYER



So that the Word of God can penetrate our hearts and enlighten our lives.



4. SOME QUESTIONS



To assist our meditation and prayer.



 - Have you ever put yourself in the situation of a blind person?  What did you experience?

- The splinter and log in one’s eye. How do I relate to others? At home, in my family, at work, with colleagues, in community, with brothers and sisters?

- There is no shortage of “spin” and interpretation of the Gospel these days. How can we use this passage as guidance in discerning the truth?

 - The Teacher and the disciple. What kind of a disciple of Jesus am I?

 - What is the spiritual state of my heart?



5. FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO GO DEEPER INTO THE TEXT



Lk 6:39: The parable of the blind leading the blind.



Jesus tells a parable to the disciples: "Can a blind man lead another blind man? Will not both fall into a hole? " A parable of one line, very similar to the warnings that, in the Gospel of Matthew, are addressed to the Pharisees: "Woe to you, blind guides!" (Mt 23:16,17,19,24,26). Here, in the context of the Gospel of Luke, this parable is addressed to the animators of the communities who consider themselves to be masters of the truth, superior to others. This is why they are blind guides.



Lk 6:40: The Disciple and the Teacher



"The disciple is not superior to the teacher; but each well trained student will be like his teacher." Jesus is the Master. Not the professor. The professor in the classroom teaches different subjects, but does not live with the students. The Teacher does not give lessons, He lives with His pupils. His subject matter is Himself, His testimony of life, His way of living the things He teaches. Living with the Teacher entails three aspects: (a) The Teacher is the model or example to be imitated (cf. Jn 13:13-15);  (b) The disciple not only contemplates and imitates the Teacher, but He also commits Himself to the destiny of the Master, with His temptations (Lk 22:28), with His persecution (Mt 10:24-25), and with His death (Jn. 11:16);  (c) He not only imitates the model and not only undertakes the commitment, but He comes to identify Himself with Him: "I no longer live, but Christ lives in Me" (Gal 2:20). This third aspect is the mystical dimension of the following of Jesus, fruit of the action of the Spirit.



Lk 6:41: The splinter in the eye of your brother.



“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 Mount, Matthew deals with the same theme and explains the parable of the splinter in the eye a little better. Jesus asks for a creative attitude that enables us to meet the other without judging him, without preconceptions and rationalizations, accepting him as a brother (Mt 7:1-5). This total openness towards the other, considered as brother or sister, will only arise in us when we are able to relate to God with the total trust of children (Mt 7:7-11).



Lk 6:43-45: The parable of the tree that produces good fruit.



“'There is no sound tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again a rotten tree that produces sound fruit. Every tree can be told by its own fruit: people do not pick figs from thorns, nor gather grapes from brambles.” The letter of the apostle James serves as a commentary to these words of Jesus:  “Does any water supply give a flow of fresh water and salt water out of the same pipe? Can a fig tree yield olives, my brothers, or a vine yield figs? No more can sea water yield fresh water” (Jm 3:11-12). A well-formed person in the tradition of community living develops a good character within himself that leads him to practice goodness. "He draws out good from the good treasure of his heart." But the person who does not pay attention to his formation will have difficulty producing good things. On the contrary, "evil draws evil out of its evil treasure, because the mouth speaks from the fullness of the heart". Regarding the "good treasure of the heart" it is worth remembering what the book of Sirach says about the heart, source of good advice: "Attend the counsel of your heart, because no one is more faithful to you. In fact, the conscience of a man sometimes warns him better than seven sentinels perched on a watchtower to spy. For all these things invoke the Most High, so that He may lead your way according to truth" (Sir 37:13-15).



6. ORATIO



Psalm 16 (15)

Protect me, O God, in You is my refuge.

To Yahweh I say, “You are my Lord,

my happiness is in none of the sacred spirits of the earth.”

They only take advantage of all who love them.

People flock to their teeming idols.

Never shall I pour libations to them!

Never take their names on my lips.

My birthright, my cup is Yahweh;

You, You alone, hold my lot secure.

The measuring-line marks out for me a delightful place,

my birthright is all I could wish.

 I bless Yahweh who is my counselor,

even at night my heart instructs me.

I keep Yahweh before me always,

for with Him at my right hand, nothing can shake me

So my heart rejoices, my soul delights,

my body too will rest secure,

for You will not abandon me to Sheol,

You cannot allow Your faithful servant to see the abyss.

You will teach me the path of life,

unbounded joy in Your presence,

at Your right hand everlasting pleasures.



7. FINAL PRAYER



God of love, You are a God of peace and unity,

You are the only one who can dispense harmony.

The new commandment You gave us

through Your Only Son

to love one another as You loved us,

 wounds our heart and overwhelms us.

In fact, we know the harsh resistance of our pride


and of our infidelities.

But 
You gave us Your very beloved Son

for our life and our salvation.

We pray, Father,

give 
Your servants a humble spirit,

far from every bad intention,

a pure conscience and sincere thoughts and feelings.

Give us a heart capable of loving all our brethren

to exchange a holy embrace of love and peace.

Following the example of 
 Your holy apostles and disciples,

let us sincerely encounter each other in Your holy Spirit

by the grace of Jesus Christ,

the Immaculate Lamb,

who redeemed us with His blood

and Who made us a holy people

to manifest the glory of 
Your name.

Blessing You for ever and ever. Amen.

(From the Coptic Liturgy of St. Cyril)


Lectio Divina:
2019-03-03
Read 838 times Last modified on Saturday, 08 August 2020 15:43

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