Continuing his Sermon on the Plain, Jesus exhorts his disciples to “take the log out of your own eye”, and to do what is necessary to become qualified “like the teacher”. Surely the disciples are taught in this way because Jesus believes that although flawed these are decent, faith-filled people: good trees capable of bearing good fruit. Like the disciples, we also need correction and redirection, support and encouragement. Sometimes a trusted loved one offers sound advice when we seek their counsel, while on other occasions we need to take time for honest, prayerful self-reflection.
Jesus often addresses what is evident at the surface in order to gaze piercingly at the truth beneath. When we look within to better understand our hearts and what we treasure, we might need to bypass the many complex layers of identity. We might notice the beat of our heart struggling to follow the demanding rhythm of modern life. Or perhaps we sense our hearts are afraid, shielded against hurt or discomfort. We’re called to resist judging (condemning) others to instead remove the ‘log’ from our vision and focus on nurturing our heart’s treasure of generosity, compassion, forgiveness, humility, simplicity…undoubtedly a life-long project!
From the interior of the heart to exterior of our actions, the caution of the blind guiding the blind also appears to be calling us to engage with people who ‘see’ and experience the world differently to us, and whose perspectives enrich our own. By cultivating fraternity and dialogue with diversity we might hope to avoid the ‘pitfalls’ of ignorance or prejudice which lead to division rather than unity.
The Holy Spirit is also termed the paraclete, the one who stands beside. As we walk with those who offer us new ways of seeing and knowing, we also walk in the company of the paraclete, whose wisdom stirs our soul and guides us forward. Heading into Lent, faced with the day-to-day distractions and complications of our lives, we might draw strength and motivation from the Spirit and Jesus’ guidance to his disciples. May we strive to keep learning and growing with humility, while nourishing and sharing the good that we treasure in our hearts.