Daily Reflection
June 26th, 2000
Deb Fortina
Academic Affairs
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2 Kings 17:5-8, 13-15, 18
Psalms 60:3-5, 12-13
Matthew 7:1-5

Observations on the fall of the Northern Kingdom  “…They rejected his statutes, the covenant which he had made with their fathers, and the warnings which he had given them.  The vanity they pursued, they themselves became: they followed the surrounding nations whom the Lord had commanded them not to imitate…”

2 Kings 17: 5-8,13-15,18 

National prayer after defeat  “…Bring us help in time of crisis, any human help is worthless...”

Psalm 60: 3-5,12-13

Do not judge   “…And how dare you say to your brother, ‘Let me take that splinter out of your eye,’ when look, there is a great log in your own?...” 

Matthew 7:1-5

The central message from today’s readings, have a great lesson for us today.  From the passages written in 2 Kings, we are told to trust and imitate the Lord our God, and not to imitate others, the latter choice could be our downfall.  Israel records a long period of decline to the destruction of Israel in 587 b.c.  It seems God had quit listening to their pleas for help.  We are gradually removing all recognition of God in our public lives from that which decorates our buildings, to the removal of public prayers at gatherings.  I’m almost surprised to see the words “In God we Trust.” still on our nations coins and dollar bills.  Will God quit recognizing us someday too?

The Psalm reading points out how useless human help can be in those times of crises.  This certainly applies to the message from 2 Kings.  If not God, then who will help us in distress, we human beings can not fix everything that is broken.  The gospel reading had the most application in my life.

I remember hearing my first sermon on today’s “plank in your eye gospel” a long time ago.  I still struggle with judging people today, even though what the homilist said makes so much sense.  Making sure that my own intentions, actions and deeds are pure and lined up with the will of the Father is a full time job.  How I have time to spend judging how someone else is doing with their schedule of those duties is hard to imagine.

The dramatic image of a plank resting in someone’s eye just didn’t work for me.  It was impossible to imagine.  Naturally I threw it out and then missed the message.  The first time I heard someone explain this story by pointing out what a tremendous task it was, to keep ourselves on the right path, I realized the plank story worked.  We really do ignore some pretty big problems in our own lives, but continue to point out the faults and failings of others.  The energy used to identify, communicate and worry about what others could do to improve their lives, could be much more appropriately spent identifying and then working on our own lives.

So, let us spend some time today reflecting on those parts of our lives that need work.  If we ask for God’s help, He will help us to work on those pieces of the plank which need removal.

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