Posted by: frburke23 | June 20, 2016

Thought for Monday, 12th Week in Ordinary Time

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.”
========================
Why do I tend to judge other people? Jesus clearly states today that we should not judge others and we will be measured with the same judgment that we use on others. That can be frightening to think about.
 
In my experience, we judge others and criticize them because we want to feel better about ourselves. When we are not grounded in our fundamental identity as beloved sons and daughters of God, we tend to look for our identity in other places. Often we try to get the attention of others by trying to be perfect, by seeking their praise, by sharing amazing stories or by gossiping about others.
 
People who struggle with their identity have a very difficult time complimenting another person because they see others as a threat. On the other hand, the people who are very complimentary of others are those who are grounded in their own identity as a child of God. They have no need to judge others because they have no need to try to boost their self-esteem. They are grounded in humility in God.
 
So pay attention to your conversations. Am I encouraging others with positive words? Am I tearing others down by sharing gossip? Am I spending time in prayer to further ground my identity in God? Would I want to be judged by God today in the same way that I judge others?
 
We all have wooden beams in our own eyes. In other words, we are all sinners. Let us keep our focus on growing in holiness, growing in the image and likeness of Christ every day. When we progress in our relationship with Christ, we will find the ways to help others rather than to tear them apart. I remember Bishop Barron saying, “We can only talk about others to the extent that we are willing to help them.” So if my intent is not to help another person, I should not be talking about them at all with others.
 
God loves you and your neighbor equally. His desire is that we seek union and build up the Mystical Body of Christ on earth. The evil one wants to divide and isolate us. We divide by judging others and sharing gossip. We unite by encouraging and building others up in Christ. Am I an agent of division? Or am I being a true disciple of Jesus by being an agent of communion?
 
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
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