“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?
Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
What vivid imagery Jesus invokes in today’s Gospel reading!
As the son of a carpenter, perhaps His father asked for Jesus’ help one afternoon in toting some wood. We might imagine an adolescent Jesus proudly stepping up to the plate to haul the biggest board that he could muster – only to be rendered temporarily useless by the tiniest fraction – a mere splinter – of it.
I suspect that we’ve all been there and don’t need any help in conjuring up the pain. But a splinter in one’s eye … how does that even happen? And, who, having acquired a splinter in his eye, ever needed anyone else’s help to realize his predicament? (What could be more ridiculous than that?)
Well, this … says Jesus: a person with a wooden beam sticking out of his eye who takes the occasion to scrutinize someone else’s infirmity.
Precisely – just like judging another person.
—Corey Quinn is the president of De Smet Jesuit High School in St. Louis.
Lord Jesus, help me to recognize the errors of my ways, or the splinters in my eye. Give me the humility to respond to criticism and the strength to change my actions to be more in line with how you would like me to live. Remind me that you alone are our judge. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer team