Reflection: 3rd March 2019

A Reflection for the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lk 6: 39-45 ( )

Today’s Gospel reading is from the Evangelist Luke. To fully understand why he presents a story in his Gospel or writes as he does, we need to understand Luke’s own background: he was a Gentile who converted to Christianity. 

Gentiles were scorned by society and were looked down upon as non-believers. Luke knew first-hand what is was like to be an outsider, to be rejected, and to be the one talked about by others and at whom fingers were pointed.

When Luke wrote his Gospel, he purposely placed great emphasis on Jesus’ compassion, understanding and his example of reaching out to the outcasts, sinners and the people excluded by society.

The importance of the Christian message to love, to forgive and not to judge is at the heart of today’s Gospel passage. It is not for us to point out the faults of others when we are not perfect ourselves. The message was very close to the heart and core of Luke’s writings.

Although, this passage was written some 2,000 years ago, its central message is as relevant today as back then. When I read this gospel passage, I am reminded of the following story:

“One day someone came upon Michelangelo as he was chipping away with his chisel at a huge shapeless block of marble. He was surrounded by dust and fragments of marble. It was not a pretty sight. Asked what he was doing, Michelangelo replied: 'I'm releasing the angel imprisoned in this marble.'”

Jesus is the one who knows the real and complete me. He sees my sins, my failures and betrayals. But he also sees my hidden qualities and talents, my noble ideals and eager hopes. He can help me to bring to birth the hidden, splendid person that is struggling inside me to be born and to be free.

Let us be careful to honestly examine our own conscience, actions and shortcomings before we judge and point out the faults of others. After all, this is not what Christ would do himself. 

‘Love one another’. 

Noel McConnell – Noel is a teacher at Holy Family Community School, Rathcoole, Co Dublin.