Politics seems comprised of the ‘photo opportunity’, concern over the ‘optics’ of a situation. As much as how things look is significant, what of the substance?
Such a situation seems to have been the case for a long time in human history which is why both the first reading and the Gospel encourage us to ‘look at the fruit’: ‘every tree is known by its own fruit’. Or as the first reading put it ‘our faults appear when we speak’. This should make us pause and reflect.
A greater awareness of my flaws is healthy – for me and everyone with whom I deal. When I am aware of my flaws I am in a better position to build community. And this is our salvation. The expression at the fraction rite of the Eucharist ‘may the body of Christ bring us to eternal life’ has multiple meanings. Yes, it refers to the Eucharistic species but it also refers to the community that gathers: we are saved in community, by community.
Salvation is not a prize for the ‘best person’. This is why Jesus disabuses those ideas by telling us in the Gospel to be aware of the plank in our own eye before we worry about the speck in anyone else’s eye i.e. we each need to get our own act together. Awareness of my failings saves me from myself, my limited view of the world and encourages me to lean on others and so build community.
A healthy community goes beyond how things look to providing for the needs of each in the community as well as sharing the community’s gifted news with others. That is substance.