#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 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!
Here’s my takeaway (in shortened form) over on Instagram!
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.”
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.”
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!
Lena is expanding my vocabulary by talking about “Quinquagesima Sunday.” Check it out in her post and her stories.
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.
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?”
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.
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.”
Tammi made a Mass Takeaway video! Thanks, Tammi, for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.
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