February 27, 2022
Luke 6: 39-45
“From the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks” – the last line of today’s Gospel. Perhaps this is the most compelling, significant point of the readings this Sunday, and may be the key to discerning the message they bear.
In a few days on Ash Wednesday, we enter the season of Lent, a time when the Church invites us to reflection and examination of how we are living what we believe. It seems that as we draw closer to the Lenten season, Jesus words in the Gospels become more directive, specific, even demanding of those who would follow Him – how they should behave, how they should treat others.
The scriptures often use ordinary everyday images to convey a more abstract message. In the reading from Sirach, it is the sieve and the fruit tree. When one speaks, one’s faults are revealed as the husks are left behind when the sieve is shaken. The fruit of a tree bears witness to the care it has been given. So, too, one’s speech “discloses the bent of one’s mind”. The admonition to remove the “beam” from our own eye before attempting to remove the “splinter” from another’s eye is a vivid and blunt reminder to look within and attend to our own faults before attempting to admonish another, before judging another.
What we know, what we learn, what we perceive with our minds, and what we allow to reside there is often settled and strengthened in our hearts before our words leave our mouths. Thus, what we permit to occupy our minds, particularly as it applies to others is worthy of scrutiny before it achieves a firmness in our hearts and is spoken from our lips!
St. Paul challenges us: “my beloved brothers and sisters, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” Here is a clear, specific directive inviting us to give full attention to our God, with the expectation that our efforts will produce “good fruit”.
What is it that is entering our minds, shaping our thoughts, filling our hearts, that we then speak out into the world? Is what, how, and when we speak bringing the power of love, healing, and hope into our encounters of daily life- for FROM THE FULLNESS OF THE HEART, THE MOUTH SPEAKS!
What is my heart full of today?
Luke 6: 39-45
Now he also spoke a parable to them: “A person who is blind cannot guide another who is blind, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above the teacher; but everyone, when he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your sister, ‘Let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother or sister’s eye. For there is no good tree that bears bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree that bears good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil person out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.