Having worn contacts since the mid 70’s this is a very painful image. Even a piece of dust under a contact is like the Rock of Gibralter under there. I have taken them out while driving and many of other times to stop the pain.
I used to take this as just another analogy of worrying about your own salvation before that of others, but this year with the who series of readings and preaching almost everyday, I came to realize a deeper meaning.
When there is a foreign object in our eye, we can’t see at all, no less to remove a splinter from anyone’s eye. We need to be able to see clearly to do that. Basically our sins keep us from seeing others and the world clearly. The challenge of this is the for us to really see the world and others as God created them, we have to be working on forgiveness for our sins and I am not sure we ever get there in this world, so the real point is that we need to be there for our brothers and sisters, but not be judging them as we will be judge as we judge others.
If you know me you guessed it, we are back to Reconciliation…
This brings us to what the true use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation should be. The Sacrament isn’t about just reading off a list of sins and coming back the next time with the same list of sins. It is about our conversion to living the life that God’s has called us to and created us for. I worry that we worry that we have done at a basic action level, and not enough about what it is underneath that causes us to sin in the first place.
So as we remove the plank in our eye, we see the world more clearly and with that clarity we can see what God is calling us to and in that process we worry much less about the splinter in the eye of a neighbor.