What is the difference between hurting someone and harming someone? Some of us think that there is no difference and the two mean the same thing, but actually, there is a difference between the two. For example, if a person stabs you at your abdomen with a knife, then that person not only hurts you but also harms you; but if a surgeon is handling that knife, then it might hurt you, especially when you wake up from anaesthesia, but it will not harm you. In our spiritual growth, telling someone a hard truth with the intention of fraternal correction might hurt that someone, but will not harm him or her, and it would actually be helping that someone.
In today's Gospel, we hear Jesus calling the scribes and Pharisees hypocrites and
blind. Was Jesus hurting them? Surely. Was he harming them? Not
at all. Jesus was actually giving the scribes and Pharisees a shock treatment, with hope that they may see the error of their ways and repent. But did the scribes and Pharisees get Jesus' point and change their ways? No, because they had become so obstinate, proud and conceited, so much so that they had become indifferent and oblivious to the hurt.
When we become indifferent and oblivious to the hurt like the scribes and Pharisees, we may actually be harming ourselves. How so? We may be harming ourselves spiritually, and slowly drift away from God's ways and end up doing our own thing. May we take notice of the hurt we experience in our spiritual journey, and let God transform us for our spiritual good.