Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Homily Video

Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript

There’s an old ancient Chinese proverb, and it is one of my very favorites. It goes something like this, “The human tongue can destroy a thousand lives without ever shedding a drop of blood.” “The human tongue can destroy a thousand lives without ever shedding a drop of blood.” We’re all, at times, at fault for the ways in which we gossip, the ways in which we talk about other people. It’s at the very end of the gospel as you just heard. Gossiping diminishes, it takes away, and oftentimes, if you step back before you speak, particularly if you’re going to say something bad about somebody, take a good look at yourself first.

That’s what Jesus is saying in the gospel today. Before you go and you take the splinter out of someone else’s eye take a good look at your own eye and see if there might be a wooden beam in there that keeps you from seeing clearly. We’re all at fault, we all have failings, we all have clay feet, and the invitation of the gospel really is to think before you speak. You know, oftentimes when we have something bad to say about somebody else it’s because there’s something else going on inside of ourself, so Jesus says, “Take a look at yourself first.”

In psychological terms Jesus was a great psychologist, as he was teacher, and Lord, and Messiah, but in psychological terms it’s called projection. There’s something in us that we don’t like, and rather than deal with it ourselves we project it onto somebody else, and we can see it pretty clearly in them. The invitation to the gospel is really an invitation to make us better people, to be honest with our own thoughts, to be honest with our own thinking, to think before we speak, and so that when we do speak we speak with good hearts. Hearts that have produced good fruit, as the gospel says. Hearts and words that enhance the lives of others, and build up the Kingdom of God here and now.

Readings

First Reading:

Ben Sira 27:4-7

Second Reading:

1 Corinthians 15:54-58

Gospel:

Luke 6:39-45

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