Today’s Gospel: Matthew 7:1-5
Ah, one of the most beloved and misused Bible verses quoted today. “Stop judging, that you may not be judged.” This is one of those phrases where I always imagine Jesus looking at us and shaking his head sadly.
There are many ways to judge and to be judged that occur daily in our world, each as damaging as the next. The judgement I have the biggest issue with? That giant wooden beam in my eye. I have the hardest time seeing past my faults to even get to other people’s splinters. And that fault, the self-judgment that I have the hardest time quitting, is keeping me from the community that Jesus proclaims in the Gospel.
Because that is what it is all about: living in a way where, as brothers and sisters in Christ, we help each other with our weaknesses and build up our strengths as a family. Focusing on the flaws, whether they be mine or yours, takes away the personhood from the “offender” and makes you instead see only the transgression. We are not our sins. Jesus’s death and resurrection made sure of that.
Easier said than done, right? Even walking into Mass, how easy is it to comment on the clothes of the family in front of you or the singing voice of the old man in the back pew? Is passing judgment human nature? Maybe. The power, like with most things, comes from what we do with that initial judgment. We could let it fester in our mind and take hold of all of our thoughts, exactly what Jesus is begging us not to do. Or, we could take a moment, say a prayer for those we are judging and remember that our greater call is to love one another as Jesus loves us.
What “beams” or “splinters” most get in the way of you loving your neighbors? Reflect on why and how you can overcome those judgmental thoughts.
Lord, thank You for unconditional love, in spite of every flaw and sin. Be with us as we encounter our human family every day and remind us to always love first.
Copyright 2018 Jennifer Durney
Jennifer Durney ministers to the young church of the Diocese of Erie in a variety of roles, all of which try her patience and stretch her heart in the best ways possible. She is blessed to share her passions and her life with her husband, Matt, and is in love with being Momma to their beautiful daughter, Vivianne.
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