Blindness and an Insecure Existence
- Reading I: 1 Timothy 1:1-2.12-14
- Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 16
- Gospel Reading: Luke 6:39-42
A Personal Testimony of Paul
Psalm 16: You will show me path of life
This life is unstable, insecure — it is existence under the constant threat of the wicked, the enemies lurking in the dark, and Death. But to the devout, the Lord is a refuge, a shield. He is also the inheritance of the faithful, the allotted portion no one — not even Death — can take away.
The responsorial psalm is taken from Psalm 16 which is divisible into two parts. The first part (1-6) is framed by a petition (Keep me safe) and assertions about God (you are my only good; you are my allotted portion, and cup). Between these frames, is a description of the place where the psalmist dwells: the holy ones are there, but there are also those "who court other gods". The psalmist is one who finds himself in a less than ideal world. There are two things that console him though: the reality of God, his "refuge" and "alloted portion", and a "destiny that is secure" (5). He has his hope fixed on this destiny which he describes as "wide pleasant places measured out" to him, "a beautiful inheritance" (6).
The second part begins with a blessing (7): he gives thanks to the Lord who instructs his heart even at night. The night is the darkness that envelops existence, foreshadowing death. But the psalmist is confident in the Lord who walks before him. Verse 10 is translated in the Greek as "For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, nor let your devout one see corruption". This Greek version is used in the NT for Jesus, God’s Beloved (see Acts 2:25-32; 13:35-37).
The psalm ends with a confident declaration that the psalmist will have life in the presence of God and enjoy "the delights of your right hand forever" (11). Thus, the psalm dovetails back to verse 6, to the inheritance that the psalmist is sure to possess.
Blind Guides Leading the Blind
Jesus’ two parables allude to the proverb: Without vision the people perish! (Proverbs 29:18) What does the illustration of a blind guide and a bad eye (the log in the eye) say to us? A bad eye left untreated and a blind guide can only lead to one thing — disaster! We can only teach others what we have been taught ourselves. And how can we help others overcome their faults if we are blinded by our own faults? A disciple is one who listens to the voice of the Master and who overcomes his faults through the skillful help of the Divine Physician. If we are to be guides and teachers for others, then we must have clear vision for where we are going and a map that shows the way.
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