8th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Sirach 27:4–7
When a sieve is shaken, the husks appear; so do one’s faults when one speaks. As the test of what the potter molds is in the furnace, so in tribulation is the test of the just. The fruit of a tree shows the care it has had; so too does one’s speech disclose the bent of one’s mind. Praise no one before he speaks, for it is then that people are tested.
2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:54–58
Brothers and sisters: When this which is corruptible clothes itself with incorruptibility and this which is mortal clothes itself with immortality, then the word that is written shall come about: Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Gospel: Luke 6:39–45
Jesus told his disciples a parable, “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye. A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not pick figs from thornbushes, nor do they gather grapes from brambles. A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.”
GOODS IN YOUR STORE: All human beings are a part of God’s creation. They are all created in the image and likeness of God, and this makes them all to look handsome and beautiful. But none of them is to be praised as a good person before acting or speaking. It is through actions and speeches that a person is tested to be known whether he/she is a good person or not (Sir 27:7). A person’s actions and speeches reveal what sort of goods one has in the heart. The goods a person has in the heart reveals the person’s character. A good person, out of the heart, produces good things, but on evil person out of a store of evil produces evil things (Luke 6:45). The relationship between a person and God depends a lot on the sort of goods one has in the heart. If a person’s heart is a store of goodness, it means that the person strives a lot to be in the presence of God. If one’s heart is a store of evil, it means that one is very far away from God. Would it not be great if all people had a store of goodness? All that we are is shown by our actions.
Prayer: Lord, help all people so that their hearts may store nothing but goodness.
YOUR WEAKNESS, MY WEAKNESS: It is often easy to see the other person’s weakness than to see one’s own. The weakness that we notice in the other person should make us look into ourselves. The other person’s weakness should help us to see our own. Before we point a finger at the other person, we should first point it at ourselves. We have to identify and correct our own weakness before we help others to identify and correct theirs. Getting rid of our own weaknesses help us to help others in their weakness. It also helps us to see the positive parts or aspects of the other person. It helps us to see the hand of God at work in the other person. How people react to different situations tells or shows how they relate to their Creator. A person, who does not see anything good in another person, is one who does not see the beauty of God’s creation in the other. In every person, there is an element of weakness, at the same time in every person there is God’s goodness. In other words, there is something good in the other because he is God’s creation!