How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:4-5 NIV
There was a robber who turned his life around and became a monk named Moses the Black.
When one of his fellow monks was being charged with some sin or shortcoming he was asked to join his fellow monks at a meeting to condemn the monk.
But he refused to come. Then they sent the priest of the church to him, saying, “Come, for all the people are expecting you.”
Reluctantly, he rose up and went. Before he left for the meeting he took a jug that had a crack in it and filled it with water and carried it with him.
Upon reaching the meeting place the surprised monks asked him the meaning of the leaking jug.
And he said to them, “The water is my sins, which are running down behind me where I do not notice them, thus I come to judge the sins of my brother, he told them.
And, when they heard this they set free that brother and said nothing further to him.
I know that the Bible clearly shows us we are to correct one another as an act of love.
Aren’t we all brothers and sisters in this world, as well as in Christ? To not encourage someone to avoid sin would show a lack of love for that person and their spiritual well-being.
But, as I reflect on the story of Abbot Moses the Black, I realize I must first look at the areas in my life that need my attention before pointing out the faults of others.
Deacon Kerry Turley is with St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Sunnyside.