12th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 2Kngs 17:5-8, 13-15a, 18
Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, occupied the whole land and attacked Samaria, which he besieged for three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, king of Israel the king of Assyria took Samaria, and deported the children of Israel to Assyria, setting them in Halah, at the Habor, a river of Gozan, and the cities of the Medes. This came about because the children of Israel sinned against the LORD, their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt, from under the domination of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and because they venerated other gods. They followed the rites of the nations whom the LORD had cleared out of the way of the children of Israel and the kings of Israel whom they set up. And though the LORD warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and seer, “Give up your evil ways and keep my commandments and statutes, in accordance with the entire law which I enjoined on your fathers and which I sent you by my servants the prophets,” they did not listen, but were as stiff-necked as their fathers, who had not believed in the LORD, their God. They rejected his statutes, the covenant which he had made with their fathers, and the warnings which he had given them, till, in his great anger against Israel, the LORD put them away out of his sight. Only the tribe of Judah was left.
Gospel: Mt 7:1-5
Jesus said to his disciples: “Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”
BEAM AND SPLINTER: “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye?” Jesus asks. The answer is rather simple. It is because of the beam makes you see the splinter in another person’s eye. From a psychological perspective, this is so true. We have certain shadows in our personality – those elements of our behavior that were not accepted in the world outside. Instead of processing them consciously, we repressed them unconsciously to our shadow-self. They have not disappeared. They are hidden like a snake in a hole. These are beams that are in our own eye. When another person exhibits even a trace (a splinter) of that shadow, we jump on that person. Therefore, before we jump on the other person, we might have to do a soul-searching: why am I overreacting to my neighbor, do I perhaps have it too? In this way, we reduce our hypocrisy.
Prayer: Lord, grant me the gift of self-awareness and self-acceptance.