One Minute Reflection – 22 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Monday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 2 Kings 17:5-8, 13-15, 18, Psalm 60:3-5, 12-13, Matthew 7:1-5 and the Memorial of St John Fisher (1469-1535) Bishop, Martyr
“You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” … Matthew 7:5
REFLECTION – “The word hypocrite is aptly employed here, since the denouncing of evils is best viewed as a matter only for upright persons of goodwill. When the wicked engage in it, they are like impersonators, masqueraders, hiding their real selves behind a mask, while they portray another’s character through the mask. The word hypocrites, in fact, signifies pretenders.
Hence we ought especially to avoid that meddlesome class of pretenders who, under the pretence of seeking advice, undertake the censure of all kinds of vices. They are often moved by hatred and malice.
Rather, whenever necessity compels one to reprove or rebuke another, we ought to proceed with godly discernment and caution.
First of all, let us consider whether the other fault is such, as we ourselves have never had, or whether it is one that we have overcome.
Then, if we have never had such a fault, let us remember that we are human and could have had it. But if we have had it and are rid of it now, let us remember our common frailty, in order that mercy, not hatred, may lead us to the giving of correction and admonition.
In this way, whether the admonition occasions the amendment, or the worsening of the one for whose sake we are offering it, (for the result cannot be foreseen), we ourselves shall be made safe through singleness of eye. But if on reflection we find that we ourselves have the same fault as the one we are about to reprove, let us neither correct nor rebuke that one. Rather, let us bemoan the fault ourselves and induce that person to a similar concern, without asking him to submit to our correction.”… St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace – Sermon on the Mount, 2
PRAYER – As we pray before You Lord, we ask You, in Your loving kindness, for the grace always to ponder in our hearts what we proclaim with our lips. Keep us in Your commandments and strengthen us by the prayers of St John Fisher, Your Martyr, that we may live by a holy conscience and never flinch from the protection of truth. Grant this we pray through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, in the love and unity of the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.