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Friday, September 9, 2011

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St. Peter Claver

1 Timothy 1:1-2, 12-14
Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 11
Luke 6:39-42

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"How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me remove the speck from your eye,' yet fail to see the plank lodged in your own?" —Luke 6:42

St. Paul is a living example of Jesus' parable of a person failing to see the beam in their own eye. Paul describes his pre-conversion years as follows: "I was once a blasphemer, a persecutor, a man filled with arrogance" (1 Tm 1:13). "I went to extremes in persecuting the Church of God and tried to destroy it" (Gal 1:13). Paul thought he saw a speck in the eyes of Christians and tried to remove both speck and Christian (see Acts 26:10). However, Paul had a beam in his own eye (Lk 6:42), because he couldn't see that Jesus was God.

Jesus appeared to Paul in "a light more brilliant than the sun shining in the sky at midday" (Acts 26:13). The plank in Paul's eye melted in the light of Christ. Paul's physical eyes were blinded by the light, but Jesus came "to make the sightless see" (Jn 9:39), and so Paul's "innermost vision" (Eph 1:18) beheld the truth that Jesus is Lord and Head of the Church. When Ananias prayed over Paul, "something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his" physical sight as well (Acts 9:18). Paul may have struggled with physical eyesight in later years (see Gal 4:13-15; 6:11), but his spiritual sight was always a perfect 20-20.

With St. Paul and the blind Bartimeaus, pray with faith: "Lord...I want to see" (see Lk 18:41). Jesus will remove any specks or planks from your spiritual sight so you can follow Him with abandon.

Prayer:  Jesus, I want to see You (Lk 18:41).

Promise:  "I set the Lord ever before me; with Him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed." —Ps 16:8

Praise:  St. Peter Claver saw Jesus in the poorest of the poor and the least of the brethren, and ministered to their needs.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 1, 2011

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