Friday, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time               

            Jesus’ warning in today’s gospel passage can be put like this: Teachers cannot lead students beyond their own level of achievement. According to William Barclay, this is a double warning to us: In our learning we must seek only the best teacher for only the most knowledgeable can lead us farthest on. And in our teaching, we must remember that we cannot teach what we do not know.

            In saying that a blind person cannot guide another blind person, Jesus is condemning a presumptuous, self-serving attitude. The self-proclaimed leader or self-appointed guide presumes to be a master of another’s destiny.

            To avoid disastrous consequences, the guide (teacher) needs clear vision. The disciple can be a true guide only when he becomes like his teacher Jesus. How can a guide do justice to his or her responsibility to others if he himself or herself has not been thoroughly grounded or rooted in God’s word? How can we perform our sacred duty to guide others on our journey together using the light of God’s Word if we have not made it our own?

            “Can a blind person guide a blind person?” Sad to say, there are cases when the blind choose to be guided by the blind. This is what happens particularly during national and local elections: blind (uninformed and misinformed) electorate choosing and electing blind (presumptuous and self-serving) politicians. This is why our nation is in a sorry state – people keep choosing presumptuous, self-serving, blind leaders.

            Every election the Church guides the people in choosing leaders. But people choose to be ‘guided’ by glitters and glamours, by slogans and soundbites, by lights and sounds, rather than by discernment and prayer. They choose to be ‘guided’ by popularity, rather than by principles and values. They choose to be ‘guided’ by political patronage rather than by integrity and character. They choose to be ‘guided’ by false hopes based on empty promises, rather than by cooperation and collaboration.

            Let us pray that we may be cured of our spiritual blindness as shown in our choosing blind guides in the different aspects of life. May we always choose Jesus as our standard and model both in choosing a guide and being a guide.

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