Blind Pride

Luke 6: 39-42
1Tim 1:1-2,12-14 / Psa 16

You hypocrite, first take the wooden beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.
(Luke 6:42)

Pride makes us fail to recognize
The failings that we criticize
Are mirrored in our very eyes
As pointed out by Jesus Christ.

Jesus told them a parable: “Can a blind man guide a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? No disciple is superior to his teacher, but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? How can you say to your brother, `Brother, let me take out the splinter that is in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the wooden beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.” (Luke 6:39-42)

Reflection

Jesus first taught His disciples (and us) not to be judgmental of others. “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Lk 6:37). Then He tells us to judge ourselves instead, because we may have greater failings than those we are judging. We need to periodically examine our conscience, and “not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you” (Rom.12:3). These were the words of one of the humblest apostles of Jesus Christ.

St. Paul was the most prolific apostle of Jesus, spreading the faith to so many countries, and enduring so much suffering and persecution, and yet he never gave much importance to his accomplishments. Instead, he humbly attributed everything to the Lord, saying, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that He considered me trustworthy, appointing me to His service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim.1:12-14) He always kept his sinful past in his heart so that he would never forget how unworthy he was, and how Jesus had converted and saved him.

According to Jesus, a person who thinks too highly of himself becomes blinded by his pride and self-importance. Such a man is spiritually blind, and when we follow such a foolish guide or leader, we will surely fail with his folly. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” And yet there are many Christians who believe that they know better than their parish priest, or their bishop, or even the pope! No disciple is superior to his teacher, according to Jesus, but so many think their position is superior to that of the Church on the issues of the RH bill; or that the pope is wrong in his stand against Masonry; or that virginity is now irrelevant, and nothing is wrong with casual sex!

A true disciple will humbly submit to the doctrines of the Church, and will abide by all her teachings, because he knows that the Church’s authority comes from God. When he has been fully trained in the traditions of the Church and in the Gospel values of Jesus Christ, then that disciple “will be like his Teacher.” He will have a clear vision of his tasks before him, to help others see the light of Christ’s salvation from the darkness of sin and pride.

Grant us, o Lord, the humility to recognize our limitations, to admit our mistakes, and to accept our need for good counsel from our leaders and elders. Cleanse our eyes of the wooden beams of prejudice and pride. Help us learn to praise rather than to criticize, and to see people at their best rather than at their worst, as You see in us. Amen.

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