Timothy 1:1-2, 12-14
Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 11
I’m sure there are lots of things the blind do very well, but
I don’t want a blind person driving my car or giving me directions.
That would be a dangerous and futile situation. The blind leading the
blind are not going to get there. Of course, the blindness Jesus is
talking about is figurative rather than literal, but that sharpens rather
than blunts what he is saying, as the blind he is referring to are “in denial”
and don’t realize their blindness.
In the first reading Paul says he used to be ignorant, but then he learned
about the Lord and now he is a minister. Before, he didn’t know.
He too was willfully blind, as his Damascus road conversion makes clear.
It was not that he couldn’t but that he wouldn’t see the situation, but now
he has learned so much he is a minister and able to help others understand
the Lord, see the Lord.
The worst kind of blindness, which is almost incurable, is the judgmental
spirit. Moreover, judgmental people tend to mix only with their own
kind, reinforcing each other’s prejudices, hence Jesus’ warning in the gospel
that both will end up in the pit. Jesus was particularly scathing about
judgmental spirit because it elevates admittedly good concepts like rules,
principles, standards – even religion—above the actual plight of human beings.
When we encounter what appears to be prejudice, it is not up to us to remove
the speck of sawdust from the eye by judging whether that person cannot or
will not see. If we do pride ourselves on confronting bigotry, it is almost
certain that there’s an even bigger log in our own eye, and we’re headed
for the pit, too! Those in the biggest danger of the trip to the pit are
those people who are constantly trying to fix others’ faults, trying to remedy
others’ blindness, when they themselves cannot see clearly. Trying
to take a speck from someone else’s eye is not appropriate or feasible until
the log is removed from your own eye.
Let our prayer be that our own blindness be cured. Then, like Paul, God might
be able to use us to help others.