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The WORD in other words (2022) by Fr Jerry Songcog SVD – Madagascar

Monday 12th Week in Ordinary Time

Hyperboles are exaggerated statements that are not meant to be taken literally. Jesus’ use of hyperbole in today’s Gospel strikes one’s imagination as well as one’s funny bones. It makes us imagine a person with a wooden beam in his eyes, which could not only totally blind him but could possibly kill him as well, trying to pull out a splinter in another person’s eye.

The description that Jesus made had surely provoked some chuckle from his listeners. It provokes a chuckle, yes, but also self-examination. When we look at how we easily judge others, and harshly at that, we realize that the comparison made by Jesus about plucking a splinter while having a wooden beam in one’s eye is no exaggeration at all. We tend to be critical of others, even of their slightest faults, because we are so blind to our own. At times, we are conscious of our own great weaknesses, but we are afraid to confront them and correct them that we prefer to spotlight others’ faults to cover up our own.

However, we have to realize that before God everything is clear. We could not hide. Everything about us is exposed. Let then the words of Jesus, which tells us that the measure we measure others will be measured out to us, drive us to honest self-examination, to a humble acceptance of our own weaknesses and faults, and total confidence in God’s mercy.

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