Friday of the 23rd Week of the Year

Luke 6:39-42

Judging Others


The funeral Mass for my deceased relative was scheduled at 9:00AM that day. It was already almost 11:00AM and the invited priest had not yet arrived. Finally, at 11:15AM he came, red-faced and breathless. He and his driver lost their way by making a left turn instead of a right turn, following the direction of a bystander.

Once too often, we who have been privileged to attend a Catholic school or college or who work closely with the church presume we know more than others how to live our Christian life. And because we think we know more we may also believe we are better followers of Christ. Worse still, we may even begin to feel and act like we are in a position to judge others and tell them how to improve their lives.

The Word today, invites us o recognize the pitfalls of self-importance and to acknowledge the longing we have in common with others at the deepest level of our being, the longing for something beyond our comprehension, for someone in whom our fulfilment lies. We all seek God. But before and much more than our seeking him, is God seeking us, yearning for us, drawing us closer to Himself, loving us far more than we love ourselves.

Today, I try to discover what’s in my attitudes and tenderness that hinder me from seeing God in others; what hinders me from letting myself be touched by the Word? (Sr. Ancille Elvena, SSpS Bible Diary 2004)


One of the main sessions during the last SVD General chapter was the reporting from the different SVD Zones on “lights and shadows” affecting our communities and confreres. The sharing with various confreres around the world gave me a general picture of the Society in different corners of the globe – both the good and the bad sides. What I heard made me realize that we can easily focus on the negative side of life which blinds us from recognizing the many lights that give hope and a promising future.

There are so many things which may blind a person. Anger, pride and hypocrisy could prevent a person from going beyond the shadows of another. Judging others without first talking and confronting them is itself an act of injustice.

The Gospel today invites us to go on extra mile to know others deeply and to recognize their potentials, talents and gifts. It invites us to cleanse our eyes from all prejudices and hatred, from anger and apathy. Self-examination removes the wooden beam of self-righteousness in our hearts. Knowing our weaknesses and sins could only make us humble and respectful in dealing with other people. With compassion and understanding, we could see clearly that the person we are judging is a brother or a sister.

One huge poster of the Mission for the Blind illustrates a boy with covered eyes and playfully using a stick to strike a drum. The caption beside the picture summarizes today’s gospel message: “Playing blind is funny for those people who can see.” (Fr. Adonis Narcelles Jr., SVD Bible Diary 2008)


We were taught in childhood catechism to follow the laws of God, the Church, the dos and don’ts in life. We tried our best, succeeded every now and then but also saw how we utterly failed, repeating even the same sin after confessing them. How dare we then correct others what we haven’t mastered ourselves?

Adult catechism states that the Christian is distinguished from others when he/she has learned to acknowledge his/her own sins, and looking at others who do the same sins with understanding and compassion. St Paul in the first reading today mentions that he “was once a blasphemer and persecutor and an arrogant man….(acting) out of ignorance in my unbelief.” Imagine having these negative qualities openly written so that even we may know how he has been treated mercifully. The trouble with the way the Pharisees corrected others came as it involved rejecting the sinner rather than really helping the other make a change for the better. It is no wonder then that Jesus said, “I came so that they may have life and have it to the full,” (Jn. 10:10). If ever Jesus showed us our sins and our being sinners, it was to invite us to take the journey of conversion. Thus, everyone is our companion on the way to him, and what we celebrate is his mercy, his love, his forgiveness. When we must correct others then, we need to remember the mercy of God very evident in Christ.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation, which we knew early in childhood catechism as the Sacrament of Confession thus becomes occasions whereby we acknowledge our sinfulness and God’s mercy. If the Catholic Church must then announce it, in spite of its sins, inviting every faithful to come and be reconciled to God, it is first and foremost an announcement of God’s mercy which he extends through Christ in the priestly ministry. Whatever we mention in the sacrament is sealed, but what we share outside is God’s mercy, forgiveness and love. In this way we live out what Christ Himself gave His life for. From this perspective alone may we denounce sin and learn to uplift the sinner who is before God someone Beloved. (Fr. Bernardo R. Collera, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


September 9, 2016 Friday

My brother lost his vision at the age of two from having had measles. He got married to a special education teacher who had also lost her sight at an early age for the same reason. Trained by my mother to an almost normal life, my brother, Nony, had confidence in himself to live life. He knew a lot of skills: doing household chores, earning a living as a masseur at a plush hotel, playing string music, rearing up three children. Imagine him cook meals, wash and iron his clothes, crack pili nuts, buy goods at Project 4 Wet Market, take public vehicles to his workplace, or attend Holy Mass. He could even give me clear directions to places in Manila. He was a practical teacher to his wife. A blind leading another blind and the sighted as well!

Acceptance of Nony’s own blindness gave him insight that beyond his physical blindness was a vision of himself doing good because deep within was a spring of God’s goodness; a vision which opened him up to seeing other people whose presence he could feel, as persons whom he could trust, work, and live with. He conquered his blindness, thus, enabled him to see the truth and beauty of others while fulfilling his own role in the family and service in the society.

Learn before you teach; cleanse yourself before you require it of others; clarify ideas before you demand action; search for the truth before you give your judgment; forgive before you ask to be forgiven; renew your mindset and transform your ways before you claim your Christian identity.  Then perhaps we would hear Jesus telling us, “Happy are you, humble and true, hypocrisy is far away from you. You are my disciple.” (Sister Tessa Artita, SSpS | Tarlac City Bible Diary 2016)


CRITICIZING: In the matter of correcting and giving constructive criticism, there are two extremes to be avoided. The first extreme is simple faultfinding. We look at the faults for the sake of the pleasure of criticizing another.  This is one extreme that the Lord wants to correct. The other extreme is that we become super, super aware of our own faults. Becoming aware of our own faults, we just keep quiet and not correct and not criticize others because we say, “why, I am also at fault.” I say it is an extreme because as we see in the Gospel, while we must not miss the point about the Lord’s warning not to see only the splinter in our brother’s eye but also the plank in our own eye, we must also heed God’s invitation to us to remove these irritants. That is, remove the plank in our own eye and then remove the splinter in our brother’s eye. The extreme position is not to correct at all because we feel we ourselves are at fault. The other position is to correct everybody because I am holy.

The middle ground is that we all mourn our limitations and shortcomings. I mourn over my weaknesses as I mourn over my brother’s weaknesses. As we mourn together, let us move together, fighting these weaknesses by the power of our strength. We all are at fault. But let us not miss the point. The Lord says to us very clearly to remove these obstacles to seeing clearly and living well. Do not just play blind to the faults of others. Do not play blind to your own. Let us together recognize our own weak situation and mourning over our own weak situation, together, remove the obstacles to fully loving and fully living. (Socrates Villegas, Love Like Jesus, p. 49)


On Correcting Others

by Swami Radhanandaji

Whenever we wish to correct the faults of others, let’s make sure that those faults do not lie within us first. Otherwise, we would only cause harm.

A moment of false pride will create a monument of irritation. Know for sure that, no matter how sincere, honest and diligent our motives may be, they will fail invariably without God’s help.

First of all, let us pray from our heart that the Lord may enlighten those whose faults we wish to correct. If our prayer is coupled with selfless love and if it rises from the depth of our heart, it will undoubtedly fulfill our desire to do good to others. It is the work of the One who has created this universe and not an individual creature like us.

Often, we do not want to pray for those whom we hate or despise. But, if we wish to adopt true spirituality, we must learn to pray even for those we dislike. Most of us are spiritually weakened by our own pride and malice. It is essential to put our own house in order first — that is, we should first critique ourselves and take refuge in God. So, instead of despising others, let us learn to pray with humility and patience for everyone to enjoy His grace. Our heart should be ruled by love and not by meanness, selfishness or short sight. May He teach us to pray for the evil-disposed as well as for the well-disposed.

We should never retaliate anger with anger or pride with pride. Instead, we should feel sorry towards those who are incensed, proud, and unhappy for it will bring their downfall. It is their spiritual death. We should lovingly pray to the Lord to bless them with His grace and uplift them  (10:10-11).

Anger or hatred can be overcome only with pure unconditional love. Therefore, first let us feel love in our hearts for those whom we wish to help. As long as there is even a shred of hatred, anger, jealousy or pride in our mind, the possibility to help someone does not exist.

This world is like a mirror that reflects our image. If we ever feel a need to correct others, may be there is a message for ourselves. When we experience good or evil externally, an equal amount of good or evil lies within us internally. The point is that we must seize every opportunity to improve ourselves even before we contemplate to correct others. Our real enemies and weaknesses are from within, like lust, greed, pride, vanity, jealousy and a host of such vices which constantly lurch in our heart.

“Oh Lord! I am aware of your command, will and desire that these directions apply to me first and this awareness is your greatest gift to me. I can never thank you enough …. not even through offering everything I possess because nothing was, is or will be mine in a world that is totally your manifestation.”


FRIDAY OF THE 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) – LUKAS 6:39-42. Unsaon man pagtudlo sa mga kabataan og moral nga kinabuhi? Aron atong magiyahan ang mga kabataan sa hustong dalan, kinahanglang kita mismo masayod sa moral nga pagtulon-an ug magpuyo niini. Si Kristo nangutana, “Mahimo ba sa usa ka buta ang pag-agak og laing buta?” Ang tubag niini dili gayod. Sa samang paagi, ang tawo nga wala mahibalo unsa ang moral nga pagtulon-an dili makatudlo niini ngadto sa laing tawo. Ug ang tawo nga wala magpuyo og moral nga kinabuhi dili usab makadasig og laing tawo sa pagkinabuhi nga matarong. Busa, kini ang dakong hagit alang sa mga ginikanan ug mga magtutudlo: sabton ang mga pagtulon-an ni Kristo ug puy-an kini sa matag adlaw. Pinaagi sa atong mga maayong ehemplo, ang mga kabataan mahatagan og saktong giya sa ilang pagpuyo ning kalibotan. Posted by Abet Uy


Friday, September 11, 2015

FRIDAY OF THE 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 6:39-42. UNSAON MAN PAGTUDLO OG MORAL NGA KINABUHI NGADTO SA MGA KABATAAN? Aron atong magiyahan ang mga kabataan sa hustong dalan, kinahanglang kita mismo masayod sa moral nga pagtulon-an ug magpuyo niini. Si Kristo nangutana, “Mahimo ba sa usa ka buta ang pag-agak og laing buta?” Ang tubag niini dili gayod. Sa samang paagi, ang tawo nga wala mahibalo unsa ang moral nga pagtulon-an dili makatudlo niini ngadto sa laing tawo. Ug ang tawo nga wala magpuyo og moral nga kinabuhi dili usab makadasig og laing tawo sa pagkinabuhi nga matarong. Busa, kini ang dakong hagit alang sa mga ginikanan ug mga magtutudlo: sabton ang mga pagtulon-an ni Kristo ug puy-an kini sa matag adlaw. Adunay panultihon, “A good example is the best sermon.” Nga sa ato pa, ang maayong kinabuhi nga gipuy-an maoy labing nindot nga pagtulon-an. Posted by Abet Uy (2015.09.12


Reflection for Friday September 12, Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 6:39-42 – Reflection: In courtroom litigation before a judge gives his verdict or judgment he sees to it that every witness from the different sides is heard. This assures that whatever decision that the judge would give, is appropriate and based on the facts of the case.

We often times act as judge in our own sphere of environment. For example a father or a mother acts as a judge when he/she gives orders to their children not to do this and that.  They also act as judge when they admonish and give disciplinary actions to their children.

But in giving judgment or orders, do we see to it that we are worthy to give judgment?   If we are worthy of the judgment that we give then that is very good for our orders  will be followed. But what if we are not good role models? Here the problem lies, if we are not worthy to give judgment.

The gospel tells us that before we give judgment to anyone we must see to it first that we have the moral authority and ascendancy to give that judgment. And how would we do this? We always have to have a self-reflection about ourselves, such as, am I a good role model? Do I follow what I tell others to do? Well and good if we are good role models and if we lead by example.

But what if we are not?  Then the judgment or orders that we give will simply not be heard and it might even boomerang back to us. – Marino J. Dasmarinas


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Reflection for September 11, Friday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 6:39-42

Reflection: What is the sure-fire recipe for failure in marriage? It’s the judgmental and self-righteous attitudes of both spouses. When a spouse is quick to draw judgment and if he/she only listens to himself/herself. We can be assured that somewhere down the road the marriage vehicle will stop and will eventually permanently break apart.

Many marriages fall apart because of the tunnel vision of many spouses. They run their respective marriages with dominance, they never allow democracy to grow and eventually thrive within the marriage covenant.

Marriage is always a democratic and participatory union. Never it has become an autocratic and one sided union between two different and unique individuals. Therefore the best recipe for success in marriage is not to allow judgmental mindset to rule the marriage. To allow democracy to carve its own space in the marriage.

In the gospel for this Friday, Jesus warns about being judgmental. Wherein we only choose to see the fault of the other person yet we purposely don’t notice our own shortcomings. We are quick to point an accusing finger yet we don’t have the courage and humility to point the same accusing finger to ourselves. – Marino J. Dasmarinas


Leading Others to Heaven

September 11, 2015 (readings)

Friday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Father Paul Campbell, LC

Luke 6: 39-42

Introductory Prayer: God the Father, thank you for the gift of creation, including my own life. God the Son, thank you for redeeming me at the price of your own Body and Blood. God the Holy Spirit, thank you for being the sweet guest of my soul, enlightening my mind, strengthening my spirit and kindling the fire of your love in my heart.

Petition: Lord, help me to grow in humility.

  1. Blind Guides:Jesus poses a rhetorical question to the crowd: “Can a blind person guide a blind person?” It is obvious that a guide needs to see. If we are talking about guiding people to the kingdom of God, then Jesus is the way. He is the one who has come from his Father; he knows the way. First, we can reflect on his importance and centrality to our journey to heaven. Second, we can also think about ourselves as guides for others. There should be a certain hesitancy, which is not reluctance, when we consider the task of leading others to God. We should be humble and remain very close to the Church that Christ founded to continue his mission on earth.
  2. Disciples:Christ’s next statement emphasizes that while the disciple is not above his teacher, he can learn as much as the teacher. The disciple of Jesus can learn from him the steps which lead to salvation and eternal life. Christ not only founded the Church to continue his teaching, but he also endowed her with the gift of his Spirit to preserve her from error. Our confidence in teaching others should derive from the knowledge that we are in union with the Church and seek to follow her teachings. Learning is a lifelong process, but religious instruction often ceases with First Communion or Confirmation, and many adults have only the religious formation of a child. What are we doing to become fully qualified in our knowledge of the faith?
  3. Hypocrites:Evangelization begins with us. It does seem that we are much quicker to detect faults in others than to notice them in ourselves. We can even be really irritated by another person’s faults, even though we ourselves possess them in greater measure than does the person about whom we are complaining. The proud person complains loudly of the conceit and arrogance he sees in his neighbor, but he is blind to his own vice. We need to consider our own condition first – humbly –, and then we need to work on truly becoming more Christ-like. The more we allow God’s grace to transform our lives, the more we can help others.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I am very proud. I so easily get wrapped up in myself, my perspective, my needs and my wants. I put myself before others. Help me to see the faults in myself that you want me to start working on. Give me the courage to address them before I start looking at others.

Resolution: I will identify two or three practical things I can do this week to grow in the virtue of humility.


FINISHED GRADUATE – “No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher.” – Luke 6:40

My tatay (father) always joked that he “finished graduate” (squatters’ slang for those who didn’t even finish Grade 6). Yet I was a witness to how he would counsel people on the different aspects of life, like faith, family, work, business, relationships, etc.

When I asked why he could counsel wisely, Tatay would jokingly claim that he had a master’s degree in UE and a doctorate in UP. “Because of all the challenges I’ve gone through, I gained a master’s degree in UE or University of Experience, and a doctorate in UP or University of Persistence. Experience is not what happens, but what you do with what happens to you. Persistence is saying yes to a challenge even when everyone else quits.”

I was stunned. What wisdom!

My dear friends, God is the Ultimate Headmaster of this big university called life. He uses His Word and our experiences to disciple us so that we can live out and lead others to a godly life.

Grow in His wisdom and you’ll graduate with heavenly flying colors. Obet Cabrillas (

Reflection: Every person and experience is a potential teacher.

Disciple me, O Lord, that I may live life to the fullest.



Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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