Daily Gospel Reflection by Dcn Ray Gallego-June 26th, 2023

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.”

Reflection: Because I am not “Eye Candy” then people tend to look for your visual faults and pass judgement on you. Let me share a true story that happened to me when I was coming home from work, and I got off the Metrolink train station in Upland. There were these three homeless guys just hanging out and when I got to them, one of them said, “Sir, do you know where the nearest Kentucky Fried Chicken is”? I thought that was an odd question, but my response was that I wasn’t sure. Then he said, “You should know because you look like Colonel Sanders”!

In today’s Gospel, Jesus wants to redirect us from the road we are heading down and help to free us of this heavy burden.  So, an important question to ponder is this: “Is Jesus talking to me? Do I like being judged upon? Do I struggle with being judgmental?” If the answer is “Yes,” fear not and do not get discouraged.  Seeing this tendency and admitting to it is very important and is the first step toward the virtue which is opposite of being judgmental.  The virtue is mercy.  And mercy is one of the most important virtues we can have today.

After thinking about this Gospel, I asked myself this question. Why is it so important for us to judge someone? An article from “Psychology Today” states that “judgmentalism is about safety. If you are the “better person” in a given scenario, you don’t have to worry that you might be the “worse” one. You don’t have to reckon with potential feelings of inferiority, shame, and generally not being good enough. Judgmentalism destroys relationships. If you are better than someone, you are apart from them. You are above them, not beside them—and so nobody is beside you.”

This sentence, from above, really hit home with me, Judgmentalism destroys relationships (or potential relationships). The good news is that maybe you can recognize that you do have choices. Whether you are judged or being judged, you can choose not to perpetuate the cycle. You can let go of needing to be better than other people and start holding onto being enough for yourself. You can see yourself as worthy of love as well as other people, and rest in the knowledge that there is enough love to go around. You can make space for your own vulnerabilities and others’ vulnerabilities, maybe including judgmentalism. When we practice kindness for others, we also find more space to extend it to ourselves.

It’s about knowing that you can afford to be generous because you are enough and there is enough of you to go around. I like to think that I have plenty of love to share with everyone. Extending some kindness does not diminish me; instead, it makes the world that I exist in a better place to be. So even though that “I may not be eye candy … I sure am soul food”.

Action of the Day: Today, count all the times that you heard someone judge or that you judged yourself. Remind yourself that mercy is always far more rewarding and satisfying than being judgmental.  It produces joy, peace, and freedom.  Put mercy in your mind and commit yourself to seeing the blessed rewards of this precious gift.

Audio Reflection:

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