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Friday of the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
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.”
Opening Prayer: Come Holy Spirit. Open my heart and mind to your inspirations in this moment of prayer. Help me to know you better, love you more, and follow you more closely today.
- Letting Christ Be Our Eyes: Christ has a way of asking questions that tap gently (or sometimes knock heavily) upon our heart’s door and open it to deep ponderings. “Can the blind person guide a blind person?” he asked his disciples. Of course both will fall into a pit. But what does the deeper “knocking” of that question suggest to us? Perhaps it is an invitation to ask ourselves: “Who is leading me?” Are we being led by our own blindness, or that of others? Christ wants to be our eyes. He wants us to learn to see what he sees in others, in circumstances, in our own selves, in God’s action in life, and in the world. Let’s linger in this moment of prayer and ask him where he wants to heal our blindness.
- Splinters and Beams: No student is superior to his teacher, but how fortunate if he can be like his teacher. What a grace to be just a bit more like Christ today, to see a bit more as he would, to respond a bit more as he would, to receive others with the mercy and kindness he would show. That classic phrase is actually a strikingly profound one: What would Jesus do? Or in other words, What does Jesus see here that I am missing? Perhaps the best way to differentiate between splinters and beams is to recognize our own “beams” before fixating on others’ splinters by letting Christ be our eyes, letting him inform and renew our vision.
- Removing Beams and Splinters: Since we are all children of God the Father, we are brothers and sisters with Christ as well. Christ is the only brother who can rightly say to us, “Let me take the beam from your eye,” because he knows us more perfectly than anyone else. He knows beams from splinters and can extract either with precision, causing us the least amount of pain and the most complete healing. Let us surrender to our Divine Physician, trusting in his gentle care for our soul.
Conversing with Christ: Christ, I open my heart before you. You see the beams that keep me from seeing what you see, and you are the Brother who has the power to remove them. Enlighten my mind and strengthen my heart to act on what you show me in this moment of prayer and in the circumstances of my life. I ask you for the grace to see with your eyes and heart.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will strive to focus on promptly answering what you’re asking of me, following your inspirations with purity of intention.
For Further Reflection: Have you checked out the “Spiritual Smoothies” on the RC Spirituality webpage? You might appreciate these brief capsules that can help us let Christ change our vision, to see as he sees.
Beth Van de Voorde is a Regnum Christi Consecrated Woman, currently serving in pastoral ministry to families in Madrid, Spain. When she’s not reading Ratzinger or humming along to some song or another, you may find her making her pilgrim way through Spain’s timeless history of faith, walking alongside the beautiful families she’s there to serve.