The Gospel according to Matthew (7:1-5)
Jesus said to his disciples: “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? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your 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.”
Opening Prayer: Lord allow me to find ways to be to be more compassionate, merciful, forgiving and understanding of others. Be open to these truths and allow our Lord to lift the heavy burden of this sin from your own life.
Encountering Christ: “Here comes the Judge” or “against one’s judgement” or “pass judgement” or “reserve judgement” or “sit in judgement”. These are terms that we have all probably used one time or more. So if this is true, then would it be safe to say that we (I) have judged another one time or another? Sadly, this tendency is far more common than most of us would like to admit. We live in a world in which it is very common to condemn, criticize and judge. This growing secular tendency, in turn, powerfully influences our thinking and actions.
Why is it so easy to judge others? Or the better question is, why is it so hard not to judge someone”? Why is it so easy to see the failures of others, dwell on their sin, point out their weaknesses and speak of their faults to others? Wouldn’t it be easier and proactive if we pulled that person aside and explain to them why there is an issue? I think that by doing this they would respect you more and make your relationship stronger.
Oftentimes the person who judges others does not even realize they are judging. This is why our Lord poses the question, “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?” If that stings even a little bit, then know that our Lord asks that question of you. And He asks it with deep love for you, desiring that you will hear Him, understand, and respond.
The truth is that being judgmental of others causes far more harm to the one who judges than to the one who is judged. Certainly, being judged is not pleasant and the act of being judged by others is not a sin. However, the act of judging others is a sin. This sin leaves the one who judges with an empty and angry heart. Love is lost in the soul who judges.
If these words seem unpleasant, that’s because they are. But sometimes we need to face the unpleasant truth in order to change. The Cross was unpleasant, but it was also the greatest act of love ever known. Facing our sin of judgmentalness is unpleasant but doing so is the only way to be free. Honesty with ourselves is an act of love given to God, to ourselves and to those whom we need to stop judging.
Closing Prayer: Come Holy Spirit! Come Holy Spirit! Come Holy Spirit, be at my side and help me to be a better person. That I may be a portrayal and an example of all that you are. Help me to recognize my faults and my fears.
Action of the Day: Spend this day without judging anyone be it someone on TV, on the road, at work etc. Examine yourself at the end of the day and see you did. Be Honest with yourself.