He also told them a parable: ‘Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?...” (Lk 6: 39-41)

If I attempt to help a newcomer to the faith, but am myself infected with arrogance, that is, self-seeking (“arrogance” comes from the Latin “arrogare,” which literally means “to claim for oneself”), we both “fall into a pit.” And that’s not a pleasant place to be, particularly for two self-seeking people. We both end up pointing out each other’s “specks,” rather than doing anything constructive.

Today I am reminded that ministry to others on the path of salvation is ineffective or even damaging, if the “minister” has neglected to minister to his or her own self. Because service to others on this path is about sharing a lived experience, rather than teaching a set of abstract principles. Today let me take up my cross, once again, and tend to “the log” that is in my own eye, so that, if necessary, I can share the experience with someone else in the same predicament.

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