EIGHTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME
‘Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye’?
An Indian mother was worried about the health of her son who was eating too much sugar. She brought the boy to Mahatma Gandhi to see if he could help. Gandhi thought for a moment and then told the lady to bring her son back in two weeks time. The mother was disappointed but did as the great man asked her. Two weeks later, when she and her son returned to Gandhi he simply said to the young man: ‘you must stop eating sugar; it is not good for your health’. The mother was confused and asked Gandhi why he had not given that basic advice on their first meeting. Gandhi replied: ‘Two weeks ago I could not tell your son to stop eating sugar; I had to stop eating sugar first’. Before we attempt to correct or criticize others, we need to take stock. There is a story behind every person, myself included and if we look for the best in others, we will find it. Another great leader, Abraham Lincoln suggested that the only one who has the right to criticize is the one who has the heart to help. Both Gandhi and Lincoln must have been inspired by the words of the Greatest Teacher of all in His ‘Sermon on the Plain’: ‘Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own’?