June. 21, 2021
Ps 33:12-13, 18-19, 20 & 22,
DO NOT JUDGE SO THAT YOU WON’T BE JUDGED
Every man is born into the world with two bags suspended from his neck; one in front and one behind, and both are full of faults. But the one in front is full of his neighbour’s faults while the one behind is full of his own faults. Consequently, men are blind to their own faults but never lose sight of their neighbour’s faults.
In today’s Gospel Jesus warns His disciples on making judgments on others. He must have observed the righteousness of the Pharisees and some Jews who are relentless in criticizing others while being guilty of what they accuse others of. Indeed, how can one make clear and good judgments when they themselves do not see, or worse, deny their own defects. For Jesus, that is the height of hypocrisy and lack of charity.
Jesus did not mean that we turn a blind eye, deaf ear, mute tongue, numbed feelings, and unmindful of disorders, abuses, immoralities, and sinful acts around us. That would be committing sins of omission. We would be irresponsible neighbors. Rather, Jesus teaches fraternal correction. It is necessary that we call the attention of others regarding their unchristian behavior. If we must forgive, we do so if only to show our true and honest intentions. However, extreme care must be given when we render criticisms and corrections. It should be constructive. It means that they are made out of love and not to destroy. This, I believe is the difference between being judgmental and concerned. Furthermore, to judge means permanently rendering the person to a certain unwanted attitude. It is the same as being sentenced to the prison of that attitude. It eliminates the possibility of repentance and conversion. The human person is full of possibilities. For this reason, no person can make judgments on others. Only God can.
In most of the times, 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 to us. And He asks it with deep love for us, desiring that we 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. But the act of being judged by others is not a sin. However, the act of judging others is a sin. And it can be a grave sin. This sin leaves the one who judges with an empty and angry heart. Love is lost in the soul of the one who judges.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, 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. Our God never judges us. He loves us the way we are with our shortcomings and weaknesses. Let us take advantage of this love and let us share this love to others by not being judgmental.
God has given us the ministry of reconciliation, not condemnation. St. Paul writes: “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation,” (2Cor 5:19). Today let us pray that God may purify our hearts with His loving kindness and mercy that we may have ample room for charity and forbearance towards our neighbours.