We All Have Something Keeping Us From God

by Faith & Life, Gospels, Love and Relationships

Gospel of 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.”

Luke 6:39-45

This Week’s Sunday Gospel Reflection

In today’s Gospel, I was struck by the image of someone with a plank in his or her eye trying to examine the eye of another. The plank would physically hold them at a distance from the other person. It would literally keep everyone around them at an arm’s distance. It is a bit of a humorous image, the idea of seeing people walking around with 2×4’s protruding from their heads. But the fact that we all do walk around keeping others at a distance is not very funny.

Though most of us will, fortunately, never experience a physical plank in our eye, we all do have something that puts distance between ourselves and others; sin. Sin keeps us from experiencing closeness with the people around us. Even worse, sin puts distance between us and God.

The Lord desires closeness with us, but He honors our free will by respecting our choice to turn away. Like a plank in our eye, sin can distort the way that we see and experience the world around us. It can blind us to the blessings in our life and cause us to fail to recognize the ways others around us are reaching out in love and support.

Through my work, I have seen firsthand the broken relationships caused by our own sinfulness. Thankfully, Jesus provided the means for repairing our sight and restoring our intimacy with God and others. The sacrament of Confession allows us to take time to identify the “planks” in our life (an important step in a world that often keeps us busy enough to ignore them!) and then surrender them to the Lord so that he can offer us forgiveness and healing. As the season of Lent draws near, now is the perfect time to remove the planks from our eyes, to better experience the love and mercy God desires to offer us.

Questions To Reflect On This Week

  1. When was the last time you made an Examination of Conscience? Take time to do that today! (Use this guide to help.)
  2. What relationships in your life have been damaged because of your own sinfulness? How can you work to heal and repair what has been lost?
  3. How is your relationship with God? How do you hope to see it grow during the season of Lent?

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Photo by S Migaj on Unsplash

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