First Reading: 1 TM 1:1-2, 12-14
In our first reading Paul reflects on why he has been called to be a minister to the Gospel. What he says appears to be self-contradicting at first glance: “He considered me trustworthy... because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.” Paul admits to being unworthy of the Good News he has been given, but relates this directly to why he has the duty to be a minister to the Word. This is because Christ knows that we are ALL sinners and yet He treats us with the same infinite mercy. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection all men can be saved by kneeling before the cross and asking for forgiveness. Paul has a righteous call to bring this message of hope to all men who may be in despair and we too have a duty to bring this same message of forgiveness to our fellow man.
Responsorial Psalm: PS 16:1B-2A and 5,7-8,11
“You are my inheritance, O Lord.” These beautiful words give the most simple picture of Heaven, complete oneness with the God of the universe. Knowing that God is the light at the end of the tunnel why should we ever be afraid? Death and darkness should not stain our thoughts as our God is the God of the night. He has defeated evil and cast the wicked into the fire. All that awaits is our choice. With Him there is peace and everlasting joy. Without Him there is wailing and grinding of teeth. Will we choose God today?
Gospel: LK 6:39-42
As I reflect upon my own actions and sins I feel the criticism of Jesus strike me deeply, “You hypocrite!” Who am I to look down upon another sinner, my fellow brother or sister, when I know that I have pierced the hands and feet of Christ by my own faults. This is why the gift of Reconciliation is so beautiful. When Jesus gave His disciples the power to forgive sins He in turn gave all of His flock the opportunity to remove the wooden beam from our own eye. In so doing we can reflect deeply upon our own faults and move away from the habit of sin. Then we can go to our brother, not with a condescending glare, but with a loving desire to remove the burden of sin and live freely with Christ. Today, remove the splinter from your eye. Find a priest and ask for Confession. Nothing is more uplifting than hearing the phrase, “You are forgiven. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.”