To Uncover and to Heal

Mar 6, 2019

Gospel Reflection, 8th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year C
Sirach 27: 4-7; 1 Corinthians 15: 54-58; Luke 6: 39-45

To Uncover and to Heal

In our gospel Jesus speaks in a proverbial way.  He speaks of obvious things.  “Can a blind person guide a blind person?”  Obviously not.  “A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.”  This is obvious enough.  “People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, nor do they gather grapes from brambles.”  This too is obvious.  So what is new about what Jesus is saying?  Where is the divine revelation here?

Christ did not just say entirely new things.  What he says reveals a great deal that we could well know for ourselves, but are all too clever to suppress.  There is no false behavior that Jesus tackles so severely as hypocrisy.  He unmasks it and tries to heal it in his listeners.

First, he uncovers the symptoms.  Blind men are trying to lead other blind men.  They think they can see, and yet they are blind.  How often do we think that we know  better, trying to remove the speck in our brother’s eye while we have a plank in our own?  We do well to ask ourselves in light of this gospel:  If I have to guide other people such as my children, colleagues at work, or make decisions as a public servant, can I see well enough?  Am I sufficiently clear-sighted in order to show the way to others? 

We must be able to see the blind spots in ourselves.  Blindness in ourselves has more profound roots.  As Jesus says, “…from the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks.”   What is my heart full of?  Is it full of lust, meanness, impatience, or jealousy?  Truth will catch up with us eventually.  Our mouths and our deeds will show what is in our hearts.  They will show what kind of tree we are. 

But Jesus says these things not to condemn, but to uncover and to heal.  The truth hurts, but it sets us free.  Jesus, the good doctor, can heal our hearts and plant his love in them.  Let us approach him as Lent approaches with sincerity in our prayer that he may humble us, but love us all the more at the same time.  Only Jesus can make our hearts like his.

Father Tony