Daily Gospel Reflection for February 7, 2018

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Today’s Gospel: Mark 7:14-23

“But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him.” Mark 7:20

I live in an affluent town ​where a ​lot of women put great emphasis on outward appearances: looking fit and slim, wearing the right clothes, ​driving the right car​, etc​​. One of these women is arrogant and mean. ​I​n subtle, passive-aggressive ways, she tries to make me feel inferior so she can feel superior.

The good new is, I’ve ​b​ecome friends with ​other ​moms in my town who care more about being good people than they do about making things look good. I feel blessed and grateful to have met them. But having that mean mom experience has me grouping women into the “us” and “them” categories.

There’s a great danger in living ​with this “us” and “them” ​approach.​ ​In a crazy​,​ reverse-world way, ​I’m starting to assum​e that all those beautiful women are just as unkind and condescending as that mean mom, without taking the time to get to know them.

I am no better than the Pharisees and Scribes in Mark’s Gospel who judg​ed the disciples by what and how they ate.​ J​esus clarified that “what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him.” Taking ​it a step further, what comes out of a person’s heart also defines ​her.

I wasn’t taking the time to get to know ​these beautiful women to see what comes out of their hearts. Instead, I was making myself feel just as superior as that mean mom by putting myself above​​ them​, assuming my heart was better than theirs. Shame on me!

Jesus didn’t come to challenge ​just ​the Scribes and the Pharisees. He came to challenge you and me too. I need to start listening to what He says, and remove the plank from my own eye before I ​​judg​e the splinter in ​anyone else’s. ​

Ponder:

Is there someone I’ve judged before getting to know her?

Pray:

God, please let me leave judgement to You. Help me to focus more on examining my own heart, ​t​han ​on ​drawing conclusions about ​anyone else’s.


Copyright 2018 Claire McGarry

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Claire McGarry is the author of the Lenten devotional “With Our Savior,” published by Creative Communications for the Family/Bayard, Inc. Her freelance work has appeared in various Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Focus on the Family magazine, and the Keys for Kids devotional. The founder of MOSAIC of Faith, a ministry with several different programs for mothers and children, she blogs at Shifting My Perspective.

6 Comments

    • I agree, and I’m ashamed to admit I do it far too often. I’m so grateful God keeps pointing out my error, inspires me to do better, and then forgives me when I lapse again. Thanks so much for commenting, Mom! 🙂

  1. I love that! I had my mean mom experience and it shook me up. I could not understand it. I have never had social anxiety until motherhood and always got along and was trusted among women. I did tell my husband not to assume someone is a, “snob” because they appear aloof or drive a nicer car and are all decked out. That person may not be as outgoing as we think and may wonder why we are not saying hello to them. No one has a perfect life. It is important to be kind to others and hope to receive the same in return. I know that my mean mom experience hit me hard. I felt shunned, misunderstood, bullied, disconnected. At 45, feeling that. I had to step back and decide how important is it to make mom friends. Who do I want to put myself around? Where am I in this search of community? I am still wondering because of that one unfortunate night. For now, I will move forward but with caution. I want things to happen naturally. I hope that it does because being a mom who works from home can be isolating. Great post.

    • I’m so grateful for your honesty, Jennifer. I think so many of us experience this, and then jump to the conclusion that it’s a reflection of us. I think often times it’s really about the other mom. That being said, I echo your words that it’s so important to still be kind to others. We don’t know where they are in their journey. And at the end of the day, it’s our own faces we see in the mirror. If we can look ourselves in the eye, and know we did the best we could, that’s all we can ask of ourselves. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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