Thu, 12 September 2019
O you of golden tongue,
how well you proved
the Word of God cannot be chained;
how well you revealed
its radiance to our ears and hearts…
unconquered by threats of death
and the sufferings
the world imposes,
you proclaimed the glory of God
and His presence with us
until the very end –
pray, O dear shepherd,
who held your flock
so close to your heart
that they became one body with you
that we all shall be so willing
to lay down our lives,
speaking and walking in
the Word the Lord gives us
to share with all our brothers in light.
Pray indeed God’s will be done
in all His holy children.
Thu, 12 September 2019
(1Tm.1:1-2,12-14; Ps.16:1-2,5,7-8,11; Lk.6:39-42)
“Remove the plank from your own eye first;
then you will see clearly enough
to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
The answer to Jesus’ question to His disciples: “Can a blind man act as guide to a blind man?” is obvious. No. It must be a man of sight, of vision, who leads those who are blind, who are without understanding. Paul has become a prime example of one who is well able to lead others. In our first reading he speaks to Timothy, his “true child in faith,” whom he has taught and led and who now stands as a bishop of the early Church. But how did Paul come to be such a profitable apostle? We see in our reading that he has taken the instruction of the Lord, his teacher, to heart, and first recognized and then removed the plank which once rested firmly in his own eye: “I was once a blasphemer, a persecutor, a man filled with arrogance.” Indeed, this great Apostle of the Lord was once an egregious persecutor of the Church; and indeed we all have or have had great sins in our lives which have set us in opposition to God – but Paul has faced his sin, found “the grace of our Lord… in overflowing measure,” and served to remove innumerable specks from others’ eyes. What of us? Do we see our sins? Have we removed them? Do we see clearly enough to “remove the speck from [our] brother’s eye?”
“Every student when he has finished his studies will be on a par with his teacher.” Paul has humbled himself before Jesus and absorbed the lessons the Lord imparts by the Spirit. Timothy has proven himself a true student and son of Paul. Who is our teacher? Where do we get our knowledge? Whom do we imitate? And whom do we lead? Are we falling into ditches following blind men’s leads? Are we leading others astray with any false philosophy? Or is it the Lord who “counsels” us as He does David in our psalm? Do we say with him, “O Lord, my allotted portion and cup, you it is who hold fast my lot,” and, “I set the Lord ever before me”? Is it His “grace, mercy, and peace” we seek always; or in arrogance do we set about doing the business we think fit?
The teaching of the Lord would lead us to set aside any sin within ourselves, to cleanse our hearts and purify our souls in order to have clear vision. For it is by this holy vision His Church is led forth, and we must be part of this procession.
O LORD, in Christ Jesus let us grow in faith and love
by the forgiveness of our sins.
YHWH, remove the sin from our lives that we might be filled with your vision and serve to help you call others to faith. On our own we remain blind, but we can bring light to others with you at our side.
O Jesus, teach us of the ways of God, and open our hearts and minds to listen to your voice and act upon your words. We are worth nothing apart from you, but if we follow in your way we may become like you who see and know all things by love and lead all souls to salvation.
Have mercy on us, dear LORD, for without your grace upon our souls we shall die in our unbelief. Who can come to you unless you call him? And apart from you, indeed we die in sin.
Open our eyes to your glory; let us set you ever before us. Let your counsel sink deeply into our hearts that we might live at your right hand and lead others to your glory.