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Homily for Eighth Sunday in ordinary time, Year C

27 Feb 2022, by Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA in Sermons

Jesus asked, “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? Yes, both will fall into a hole. So, anyone who wants to teach or lead must first find the way; if not, that person would mislead others.

When Jesus’ ministry on earth in flesh and blood was drawing to a close, he mentioned his imminent departure to his apostles and said to them; you know the way. Thomas said to him, no, Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way? Then, Jesus said, I am the way, the truth. (John 14:1-6). Therefore, anyone who wants to guide or lead others in their faith journey must know Christ who is the way.

In one way or another, we are all called to lead and guide. Our Christian vocation is to be a light for others; it may be in our homes and families, at our places of work, in our circle of friends, or in any other groups we may find ourselves. To be a leader is not to be a fault-finder, always finding fault in people, consistently identifying people’s mistakes, criticizing and judging others. Jesus says no, examine yourself first; do you know me? Does your knowledge of me find expression in your words and actions?

In our first reading, the writer says, “a person’s speech discloses the cultivation of the mind,” the words of our mouth are powerful. The scripture says that “death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21). So, Jesus warns us against being too hasty in our speaking, criticizing, and judging others. He asked, “Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?…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.”

Flor McCarthy, S D B illustrated the Lord’s teaching in a story. Once there was a young monk who committed a serious fault. Immediately the elder monks assembled in community to pass judgment on him. However, they wouldn’t proceed until their abbot joined them. So they sent him a message: ‘Come, the community is waiting for you.’

The abbot arose, and taking an old basket which was riddled with holes, he filled it with fine sand. Then he started off, carrying the basket behind him. Naturally, as he went along, he left a trail of sand in his wake. The elders came out to meet him and asked him what he meant by this. And he replied, ‘My sins are running out behind me. Everywhere I go, I leave a trail of faults after me, only most of the time I don’t see them myself. And today you want me to sit in judgment on my brother.’ On hearing this, the elders felt ashamed of themselves.

Dear friends, we are called not to judge one another but to lovingly correct each other, to have the Catholic-Christian vision of the human person. Though this person may have fallen, he or she is still a person created not in the image of his or her mistakes but the image of God. We all are on a journey together, the journey of life. We need each other in this journey; we need to point the way to each other in moments of trials, tribulations, and even when human pride darkens our way. Let us ask the Lord to purify and help guide every word that proceeds from our mouths.