Diocese News

GOD'S WORD IN DAILY LIFE

10 September/Friday/23rd Week in Ordinary Time,

1Tim 1,1-2.12-14/Psa 16,1-2.5.7-8.11/Luke 6,39-42

By Most Rev. Emmanuel Kofi Fianu, SVD

 

First Reading:1 Timothy 1:1-2,12-14

I used to be a blasphemer, but the mercy of God was shown me

 

From Paul, apostle of Christ Jesus appointed by the command of God our saviour and of Christ Jesus our hope, to Timothy, true child of mine in the faith; wishing you grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, and who judged me faithful enough to call me into his service even though I used to be a blasphemer and did all I could to injure and discredit the faith. Mercy, however, was shown me, because until I became a believer I had been acting in ignorance; and the grace of our Lord filled me with faith and with the love that is in Christ Jesus.

 

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 15(16):1-2,5,7-8,11

 

You are my inheritance, O Lord.

 

Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.

    I say to the Lord: ‘You are my God.’

O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup;

    it is you yourself who are my prize.

 

I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel,

    who even at night directs my heart.

I keep the Lord ever in my sight:

    since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.

 

You will show me the path of life,

    the fullness of joy in your presence,

    at your right hand happiness for ever.

 

Gospel Acclamation: Psa 147:12,15

 

Alleluia, alleluia!

O praise the Lord, Jerusalem!

He sends out his word to the earth.

Alleluia!

 

Gospel:  Luke 6:39-42

Can the blind lead the blind?

 

Jesus told a parable to the disciples: ‘Can one blind man guide another? Surely both will fall into a pit? The disciple is not superior to his teacher; the fully trained disciple will always be like his teacher. Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own? How can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me take out the splinter that is in your eye,” when you cannot see the plank in your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter that is in your brother’s eye.’

 

Reflection

The Gospel Reading seems to be a collection of scattered sayings that are not interconnected among themselves. There are a number of rhetorical questions which cannot be easily understood if we do not have the background to these questions. If a person is to guide another, it is imperative that he is able to see and also know where to go. If both the guide and the one being guided are blind, they risk not arriving at the destination. Not only that they will not arrive at the destination but they also risk hurting themselves along the way. When we apply this to Christian life, which is certainly what he expects of us, then we have a lot more to learn.

Discipleship means following Jesus as a guide. We follow him because we are confident he knows the way to the house of the Father. He knows the road that we should take so as to reach the set goal. If we decide to follow a false guide, we cannot call ourselves disciples of Christ. Since Christ uses others to guide us today, it is imperative that we identify the right guides. This calls for careful examination of whoever proposes to be our guide. We should have the appropriate criteria to guide us in judging the authenticity of the person who offers himself as guide. Many people move around using the name of Jesus or claiming to be his ministers who can guide us to our goal in Christ. A good example of guide in Christian life is Paul who wrote to his son in the faith in the First Reading today. Paul did not hide from Timothy his own shortcomings so as to encourage him to strive for perfection in the Lord.

Similarly, when Jesus says that a disciple is not greater than his master, he reminds us of what happened to him in life. He was rejected by the high priests and leaders of the people and condemned to death. If the disciple is not greater than the master, then he should also expect a similar treatment. When we are rejected today, it may be because we go counter current and advocate a conscious reflection on issues that people do not want to touch. For example, issues of employment, just wages, degradation of the environment, the right to education, etc. When we speak of some of these issues, we may not get publicity because we tend to criticise the status quo or we disturb the conscience of some people. Should we be rejected for doing so, we should remember that Christ suffered something similar. The rejection should become our strength so that we can carry to conclusion what Christ commands us to do.