September 10, 2021
by Carol Zuegner
Creighton University's Department of Journalism, Media and Computing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Friday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 441

1 Timothy 1:1-2, 12-14
Psalm 16:1b-2a and 5, 7-8, 11
Luke 6:39-42

Praying Ordinary Time

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Today’s Gospel is one that, to be honest, made me squirm a bit. And I think that is just what Jesus intended. I know I am prone to judge others. I measure myself by what I see in others; often, I do it to make myself feel better. Well, I tell myself, at least I’m not like that person. Well, I tell myself, at least I know better than that. I am standing tall in my own righteousness and judgment. Yes, I may not be the best, but – waving a hand in the direction of others – at least, I’m better than they are. We all do it. But is that moment of satisfaction really satisfactory? By looking at others, do I stop looking inward at myself? In his parable, Jesus is blunt: “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?”

What am I not seeing in myself and others because of that wooden beam in my own eye? How can I remove that beam (ouch) and really see people? That person who is loud and annoying? Maybe she is lonely. I’ve been lonely. That person who is grumpy? Maybe he is carrying a burden that has become too heavy. That person who seems to have everything and makes me feel small? Maybe she is hiding a deep sorrow.  

What my squirming has made me feel: I am always grateful for the grace of God to forgive me and to love me as I am. I pray today that I really see God in all things and all people, even and especially, the annoying and the grumpy.  I pray that people can see God in me.

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