After a long absence from daily Mass, I returned on the day when the Gospel reading was from Matthew 7:1-5:
Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.
I remember a priest saying there is a difference between judgement and fact. Though I sometimes feel judgmental, I try not to confuse it with fact. Nevertheless, I wonder about my perceptions about people and if they are justified.
Do I have any facts about the person? What motivates their actions? Some childhood pain? A recent hurt with a loved one? A lifetime of disappointment? Illness (physical or mental)?
What is my response to this person? Am I showing kindness and patience? Am I showing disdain?
That same priest told me that when someone makes me angry they are holding up a mirror and I am seeing what I don’t like about myself! I’ve never forgotten that.
Matthew’s Gospel goes deeper than pointing a finger at one another. It holds up a mirror so that we may see ourselves the way others see us.
Copyright 2017 Pam Spano