Commentary on the Gospel of
Both of the readings for today – old testament and new – left me pondering the concept of humility. How powerful it is to not have to be all powerful! How fulfilling it is to find our treasure in not fulfilling our every whim! My God is an awesome God, capable of both anger and mercy – and the first reading reminds us that God can choose to wield wrath against us when we lean into wealth, privilege, and power through sin. The second reading likewise reminds us that the temptations of sin are great, and that we must take care to rid ourselves of the ‘great millstone’ that we each fight.
What is the millstone that pulls us away from a right path? Do we struggle with greed? Jealousy? Perhaps we tell white lies or manipulate to achieve our ends. I can judge too quickly. Too often I fail to put others’ needs above my own. Jesus’ words challenge us to be introspective enough to see our flaws so that we can then choose to remedy those flaws. I have no intention of removing any body parts, as Jesus imagines in his teaching… but I can mindfully and with discipline act better than my nature. I can have the humility to claim my imperfection yet not be “overconfident” in carelessly clinging to my imperfections as an excuse to then expect forgiveness. I can strive to be better, to be closer to God, to move further from my sinful nature, and to have the humility to ask for help and for the forgiveness that comes through Jesus Christ. What can I do to rid myself of my millstone? What prayers do I need from this community to support me on my path? We can all act – and we can all ask for help within our community of faith – to minimize our sins and maximize God’s grace.
Blessings to each of you for your humility, your action, and your asking. Amen.