This daily homily is written by Fr. Abu.
“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure produces evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).
Last Sunday, Jesus taught us to love our enemies, and we saw the example of David who had a chance of killing Saul, but spared his life because David recognized Saul as the Lord’s anointed. Despite all the atrocities Saul had committed, despite the fact that Saul had come out with three thousand men to kill David. David restrained himself from judging and condemning Saul. All that David could see in Saul was the anointing.
Jesus says in last Sunday’s Gospel passage: “Judge not and you will not be judged, condemn not and you will not be condemned…” In that same line, we hear Jesus today saying: “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your eye?”
In other words, if we even take out time to examine our own hearts thoroughly, we would discover we are not even better than those we judge and condemn. Hence, our first lesson today is: the need for constant self-examination. Imagine driving a car for months and even years without ever opening the bonnet to check the engine or even service it? What becomes of you when you go for years without ever visiting a doctor for medical check-up?
If we do not examine our conscience, we run the risk of judging others for sins which we are even more guilty of. That is to say, we humans have this tendency of projecting our conscience outwards. It is like we unconsciously fight the darkness that is within us by pointing fingers. When the woman caught in the act of adultery was brought to Jesus, He simply said: “Let him who has not sinned be the first to cast a stone.” That was the moment the crowd had the chance of ever looking inwards and when they saw their own darkness, they dropped their stones and walked away.
Our second lesson today is: Leadership Requires Foresight. Jesus asked a question in today’s Gospel passage: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?” In other words, “can you be a leader when you are not better than the people you want to lead?” No wonder, there is a saying which states: “if you want to change the world, begin with the man in the mirror.” Leadership is not all about power, it is first of all a matter of inspiring others.
Become the light you desire to see shining in our society. Lead by action not by complaints. Enough of hate speeches and insults. Whatever you condemn about our leaders, just begin to expunge such from your own life now. Granted, our country is in a pit already, but we are all going to remain in this pit until true leaders emerge; leaders who can actually see. The question we must start asking ourselves now is: “How prepared am I for leadership?”
This takes us to our third lesson for today: For us to bear good fruits, we must be good trees.”
As Jesus put it, “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then YOU WILL SEE CLEARLY to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.” That is to say: “The only way we can offer useful advice to others is if we ourselves are following that same advice. If you are not living the life you preach, your preaching is useless; it only amounts to mere words.
At times we make the mistake of admonishing people to do things which we ourselves are not doing. We become like bad trees attempting to bear good fruits. In the end, all our efforts are simply in vain. As Jesus puts it, “Figs are not gathered from thorns nor a grapes picked from a bramble bush.” Even our first reading today says: “The fruit discloses the cultivation of a tree; so the expression of a thought discloses the cultivation of a man’s mind”
That is to say, if we must be good trees, we must feed and cultivate our minds with the right content. This is why Jesus describes the heart like a treasure box which determines the entire direction of our lives. “The good man out of his good treasure produces good, and the evil man out of his evil treasures produces evil for out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaks.” The questions we must ask ourselves today are: What is inside my treasure box? What kind of thoughts are most abundant in my heart? What do I constantly feed my mind with? How clean or dirty are my thoughts?
As we prepare to enter the season of Lent on Wednesday this week, I seriously encourage you to look inwards, examine your heart and start feeding it with holy and righteous thoughts. The battle against sin begins and is often won or lost in the mind. Do not give the devil any room in your heart.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, grant me the grace of true repentance from all my sins, Amen!
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Eight Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C. Bible Study: Sirach 27:4-7, Psalm 92, 1 Corinthians 15:54-58 and Luke 6:39-45).