Friday of the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
The parents’ five stones
And he told them a parable, “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? … Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye”. Lk 6,39-42
Today’s parable might be called the parable of the parental figures: parents, grandparents, priests, teachers, educators and community leaders. It is divided into two parts: the first one advises a blind man against guiding another blind man because both would risk to fall into a hole; the second one features the image of the straw and urges us not to look at our brother’s sin until we have settled the problem of our sin. Unfortunately, we are all a bit of blind men and sinners, but there are some roles, such as the parental figures, who, despite their limitations, cannot help guiding and also correcting the people they have been assigned. How can we do that, since it is not easy to live in a state of holiness? The only solution is to fight every day against our own limits and sins. By God’s grace, we can dispose of some weapons which allow us to lead this battle with some success success: prayer, meditation on the Holy Scriptures, the Eucharist, a frequent confession and fasting. They always remind us of the five stones the shepherd boy David picked from the bed of the river to face the giant Goliath. They are the same ones which must be picked by the parents and all those who have the role of guidance and correction, because sin and personal limits are often a giant Goliath. Some years ago, we were given the duty of helping a community of families in crisis to pull out of their situations. We started to talk with all the members of the community but the younger ones, so that they could not get shocked. Listening to those people, incredible things came to the surface, which have made us touch first-hand how the devil can destroy even the most beautiful reality, using the only weapon he has available: man’s being bent for sin. Since the most affected people were precisely the responsible ones, there was no other solution than dissolving the community, trying to assure the member families a house and a job. Which, with the help of God, was made possible. At first it was a very nice community, but as time flew by it had dropped to the ground the five necessary stones: prayer, meditation on the Holy Scriptures, the Eucharist, confession and fasting.