Dear Followers of Jesus,
Luke 6:39-45 invites us into deep self-reflection. We are to ask ourselves about our own blindness as we try to lead others. We are to take note of the wooden beam in our eyes as we struggle with the splinter in our brother’s eye. We are to ask ourselves whether we are a good tree bearing good fruit or a rotten tree bearing rotten fruit.
Luke’s gospel reveals a path of deep conversion. We must find this grace in our hearts. The spiritual journey must include self-reflection and honest prayer. We cannot use prayer to make us look good to others. Prayer is not a vehicle to put other people down. Religion is not a club we join. Prayer calls us into love. It changes us.
We come to rely solely on the mercy of the Father when prayer becomes a way of life. The human heart is where real transformation happens. In other words, religion is a way of seeing God and humanity. We must learn to see the world with justice, love, and compassion. We must first look at how we are blind to our own actions.
Today’s gospel challenges us to reflect on our spiritual blindness. We can easily point out the defects of other people. Jesus challenges us first to look at our own motivations, sinfulness, and insecurities. We must face our own lives with honesty. Learning to truly see ourselves is the work of a lifetime. We must be honest about how life has hurt us, our disappointments, and our failures. Jesus calls us into love so that we experience it in our own darkness. When the path of life is illumined in the light of Christ, then we can learn to see other people more clearly. The plank in our own eye must be removed before seeing others as God sees them.
We begin the Lenten season this week. Today’s gospel is a beautiful start to this season when we take time for self-examination. We all ache to be people of integrity. We all want to cultivate goodness in our hearts so to become a tree that bears good fruit. This gospel invites us into becoming people who first know the healthy love of God within us. Then only after understanding what truly gives us life, we then can pass this love to others.
The tree in this gospel leads us to exploring the Cross of Christ. The Tree of Life is the place where real fruit is grown. We learn to die to ourselves in the same pattern of our Savior. We die to self so to rise into full bloom in his life on earth. Each of us shall bear good fruit when we are immersed in the beauty of God’s love and mercy on this earth.
A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good…
God give you peace,