“Can a blind man act as a guide to a blind man?…Why look at the speck in your brother’s eye when you miss the plank in your own?… A good tree does not produce decayed fruit any more than a decayed tree produces good fruit.”  These three statements of truth from our gospel this week point to the notion that you have to get your own house in order to effectively help others.  It is easy to look at the shortcomings of someone else and be critical.  Sometimes we do this to take focus away from our own problems.  It is important that we take the time to address our own shortcomings first, that we might see clearly to help others.  As we enter Lent, we are given the opportunity to enter the desert and reflect upon our needs and relationship with Christ, and the changes we need to make, that we might be Christ to others.

As Vincentians, we focus on helping others who are in need.  This is noble work that we do.  We can sometimes get so wrapped up in this though that we forget that our primary purpose is to grow in holiness ourselves.  When we lose sight of that, we lose perspective and become ineffective or burn out.  This gospel – and Lent – serve as reminders to us to pay attention to our needs and relationship with God.  It is that relationship which gives us the strength perspective to effectively minister to those in need.  Do I spend time in prayer daily, receive Eucharist frequently, and seek time for reflection and meditation?  Do I take time for retreat that I may renew my relationship with Christ?

Father, you are the source of all that is possible.  Help me to always bring my needs and the needs of others to you in prayer.  Give me the humility to recognize the need I have for you in my life.  Grace me with the desire to spend time with you that I might have more to give to others.  I pray all of this in your Son’s name.  Amen