God: the only surgeon qualified to remove splinters (and boards) from eyes

#MyMassTakeaway for the 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time. This post contains amazon affiliate links. If you purchase through the links, I make a small percentage at no extra cost to you.

First of all, could these planks and splinters not be sticking out of eyes please? Cringe-city over here.

It doesn’t matter what size the wood is – if it’s in your EYE we have a major problem.

And for that matter, you shouldn’t by trying to take a sliver out of your friend’s eye, regardless of what’s in your own. Keep your tweezers away from my eye-splinters, thank you very much.

That job is for a qualified surgeon.

Which is exactly my takeaway from today’s Gospel and homily.

“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?”

Luke 6:42

We might think we know how to solve everyone else’s problems. Yet how very seldom can we even solve our own!

When we look at the problems, hurts, and sins in our own lives, we know the complexities, the difficulties, the roadblocks, and the obstacles. We know just how hard it can be to solve a problem – no matter how strongly we desire a solution.

And when we can’t solve our problems, all we can do is place our trust in God, our Divine Physician, and endure.

Let’s think about the times we may have jumped in to solve someone else’s problems. The times when we gave unsolicited-non-expert advice. When we thought, “If only they would do what I say, everything would be just fine.”

How presumptuous of us, who cannot even solve our own problems, to think that we can solve anyone else’s.

How vain, how proud, to think our advice is the magic cure.

How insensitive, to overlook the fact that everyone has a hidden story and unknown complications.

The principle of subsidiarity says that those closest to a problem have the greatest right and responsibility to address it.

Under this principle, the first claimant is always God. He sees and knows all things. He is the center, heart, and purpose of our existence. And he has the power to make all things work for our good.

God is the only surgeon qualified to remove splinters (and boards) from eyes.

The second claimant: You. Me. The person with the problem. If we’re not willing to work and pray towards a solution, no one and no amount of advice can do it for us.

Same for others.

If a friend or loved one isn’t taking action on the issues in their life, you cannot – CANNOT – be their personal savior.

After that, it’s a matter of discernment.

It’s a beautiful thing to want to help someone who’s hurting. Start with prayer. Then evaluate your proximity to and involvement in the situation.

Before giving advice, wait to be asked or offer a simple, “How can I help?” If further input is wanted, it will be requested.

In the meantime, don’t get embroiled in other people’s problems. Live your own life. entrust others to God’s providential care.

As much as possible, come alongside others with compassion and empathy.

We are created to walk this road together, leaning on Jesus to solve our problems, heal our hurts, forgive our sins, and helps us – US – amend our lives.

Our own lives.

Above all, don’t set yourself up as someone else’s personal savior. That’s not your job, but Christ’s alone.

So focus on your own planks.

Leave your neighbor’s splinter alone.

Turn to God, the Divine Surgeon, who alone has the power and expertise to remove boards and splinters from eyes.

#MyMassTakeaway Linkup

#MyMassTakeaway is a community building hashtag. I encourage you to use it to share your thoughts about the Mass, Eucharist, and readings every Sunday.

Check out these reflections, and head over to Instagram to join!

tojesussincerely

Here’s my takeaway (in shortened form) over on Instagram!

View this post on Instagram

#MyMassTakeaway First of all, could these beams and splinters not be sticking out of eyes please? Cringe-city over here. It doesn’t matter what size the wood is – if it’s in your EYE we have a major problem. And for that matter, you shouldn’t by trying to take a sliver out of your friend’s eye, regardless of what’s in your own. Keep your tweezers away from my eye-splinters, thank you very much. That job is for a qualified surgeon. Which is exactly my takeaway today. “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?” – Luke 6:42. The principle of subsidiarity says that those closest to a problem have the greatest right and responsibility to address it. Under this principle, the first claimant is always God. He sees and knows all things. He is the center, heart, and purpose of our existence. And he has the power to make all things work for our good. God is the only surgeon qualified to remove splinters (and beams) from eyes. The second claimant: You. Me. The person with the problem. If we’re not willing to work and pray towards a solution, no one and no amount of advice can do it for us. After that, it’s a matter of discernment. It’s a beautiful thing to want to help someone who’s hurting. Start with prayer. Then evaluate your proximity to and involvement in the situation. Before giving advice, wait to be asked or offer a simple, “How can I help?” If further input is wanted, it will be requested. In the meantime, don’t get embroiled in other people’s problems. Live your own life. entrust others to God’s providential care. As much as possible, come alongside others with compassion and empathy. We are created to walk this road together, leaning on Jesus to solve our problems, heal our hurts, forgive our sins, and helps us – US – amend our lives. Our own lives. Don’t set yourself up as someone else’s personal savior. That’s not your job, but Christ’s alone. So focus on your own planks. Leave your neighbor’s splinter alone. Turn to God, the Divine Surgeon, who alone has the power and expertise to remove beams and splinters from eyes. #linkinbio

A post shared by Sara Estabrooks (@tojesussincerely) on

surprisedbymarriage

Jen and Logan remind us of the importance of facilitating change beginning with ourselves – especially in marriage!

“It’s hard – and humbling – but that self-reflection and improvement will “bear good fruit” in your marriage.”

ginnykochis

I love Ginny’s reminder to be thankful, even when we’re tempted to be overwhelmed by the messiness of daily life.

“As today’s Psalm said, It is good to give thanks to Him – especially when the house is a mess.”

takeupandread

The ladies over at Take Up and Read remind us that the challenging words in today’s Gospel come with perfect timing, as we prepare ourselves for Lent.

“Some difficult words from Jesus in the gospel today, just in time to help us prepare to turn inward during Lent. How will you take our Lord’s words to heart?”

And check out their Lent Study: Hosanna!

joyfilledfamily

Lena is expanding my vocabulary by talking about “Quinquagesima Sunday.” Check it out in her post and her stories.

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QUINQUAGESIMA SUNDAY [kwing-kwuh-jes-uh-muh] The last Sunday before Ash Wednesday . Find today’s readings and more info in my IG stories on Quinquagesima. Fr. Goffine makes the connection of good works with charity and living the Faith, provides an explanation of the Gospel's narrative of Our Lord healing the blind man, and gives a short instruction on Lent. . “We grant, that, on these three days immediately preceding the penitential Season of Lent, some provision was necessary to be made for those countless souls, who seem scarce able to live without some excitement. The Church supplies this want. She gives a substitute for frivolous amusements and dangerous pleasures; and those of her children upon whom Faith has not lost its influence, will find, in what she offers them, a feast surpassing all earthly enjoyments, and a means whereby to make amends to God, for the insults offered to his Divine Majesty during these days of Carnival. The Lamb, that taketh away the sins of the world, is exposed upon our Altars. Here, on this his throne of mercy, he receives the homage of them who come to adore him, and acknowledge him for their King; he accepts the repentance of those who come to tell him how grieved they are at having ever followed any other Master than Him; he offers himself to his Eternal Father for poor sinners, who not only treat his favours with indifference, but seem to have made a resolution to offend him during these days more than at any other period of the year.” #domgueranger #liturgicallivingtlm #frleonardgoffine

A post shared by Lena (@joyfilledfamily) on

mccw_gram

The MCCW ladies are prompting us to prepare for the longgg forty days of Lent, and remind us of other Biblical instances of the 40 days.

beautifulcamouflagedmess

Anni’s post is hitting home for me. She talks about modeling the faith for our children, and teaching them by example.

“What we value, our children will value. Will they see us value Christ, or will they see us value something else?”

powerinmyhandsthemovie

I’m glad somebody picked out this quote for their Takeaway, because I wanted to write about it so bad – but then God took me in another direction.

praisingjesusinthemess

I love that Carissa honed in on the tendency to criticize. Isn’t it so true? It’s such a trap I can be tempted to fall into – especially with my kids. I want to take Carissa’s advice and appreciate the beauty of the lives around me.

“We grow impatient, we try to take control, or worse we step into someone else’s life quick to judge and criticize without even acknowledging our own struggles and where we fall short. The readings this Sunday tell us to remove the log from our own eye before removing the speck from our neighbor’s eye.”

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#mymasstakeaway We went to Mass last night since the weather man called for ice. My boys came in bright and early this morning, as they always do! I put on the coffee and watched as they created. It looked like just a mess to me at first, but in my son’s eyes it was a creation waiting to be made. For a long time he sat there piecing together everything until it was perfect, making something fun for his little brother to play with! He was so proud to give it to him, but it was a process! Throughout the building, little brother was impatient. He kept adding and plucking things off, getting irritated at times. Sometimes helping and sometimes messing up his brother’s creation. Claire even offered some of her criticism. I can’t help but feel the connection between this moment and our Lord. Aren’t we like that at times? We grow impatient, we try to take control, or worse we step into someone else’s life quick to judge and criticize without even acknowledging our own struggles and where we fall short. The readings this Sunday tell us to remove the log from our own eye before removing the speck from our neighbor’s eye. Only then can we see clearly to help. I feel like in our world today, this reflection of our inner self is somewhat warped by what surrounds us. We compare, we criticize, we become arrogant or prideful or worse! Sometimes we take the opposite side obsessing over all the places we fall short, where we feel not good enough, comparing our life to others who seem to have it all together, and telling the Lord that we are not one of His worthy creations. Questioning His work/His plan. Both ways of thinking effect us. It poisons our true self worth and we forget to reach out to our Savior for help. We forget that He loves us more than we can ever comprehend and that He is there all along quietly, patiently building us into this beautiful creation that we are meant to be, piece by piece. We just need to trust! Lord, help me to remove the log from my eye first, to be patient and trust in You, and to help everyone know they are worthy, and a beautiful creation made by You! Sirach 27:4-7; Psalms 92:2-3,13-16; 1Corinthians 15:54-58; Luke 6:39-45

A post shared by Carissa (@praisingjesusinthemess) on

Chasing Time and Drinking Wine

Tammi made a Mass Takeaway video! Thanks, Tammi, for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

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