He also told them a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
“I will pull this car over right now!” was an oft heard summer expression spoken by my father to me and my quarreling siblings riding in the back seat of the family station wagon during our childhood vacation getaways. Like all brothers and sisters we loved each other dearly, but with this love also came the knowledge of which pushed buttons activated the launch sequence towards mutually assured emotional destruction. And no doubt about it, we were button pushers.
As I read today’s Gospel, I imagine Jesus grimacing into a rear view mirror at the twelve button pushers in his back seat. Jesus, in Luke’s previous passage, had just finished explaining how we should love our enemies, but today we are told how to act towards those whom we already love. It is with great ease that we can sometimes cut down those we care about and love the most. It is just as important to nurture the love that is nearest to us as it is to embrace the radical call to love our enemies.
Today, examine those relationships that may have been taken for granted. Pray for loved ones who have made themselves vulnerable to our slights by entrusting us with their deepest selves. Seek ways to push the buttons of gratitude.
—Richard Schuckman, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago