Matthew 7:1-5If you want to avoid judgement, stop passing judgement. Your verdict on others will be the verdict passed on you. The measure with which you measure will be used to measure you. Why look at the speck in your brother's eye when you miss the plank in your own? How can you say to your brother, "let me take that speck out of your eye," while all the time the plank remains in your own? You hypocrite! Remove the plank from your own eye first; then you will see clearly to take the speck from your brother's eye.NAB St. Joseph Edition
From the Word Among Us...
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to pinpoint in someone else the same sins that you are prone to? If we tend to talk too much, we get impatient when someone won’t let us get a word in edgewise. If overeating is a temptation, we notice when a friend puts on extra pounds or accepts a second helping. If we tend toward laziness, we quickly fault a family member who doesn’t seem to be doing his share of the work.
That’s why today’s Gospel reading is so important. When we are tempted to criticize or judge someone else, Jesus invites us to shine the same light on ourselves. This is not so that we will condemn ourselves but so that we will grow in charity. After all, we should have compassion on people who experience the same weaknesses that we do. Focusing on our own failings can also show us where we need to repent. We all need to call on God’s power to help us change.
It’s important to learn how to see ourselves and each other in the light of God’s deep love. This person isn’t—and you are not—a gossip, a glutton, or a slacker. This person is—and you are—a beloved child of God, called into his family, graced and greatly gifted.
Often, the same traits that lead us to sin can be transformed into tools to build God’s kingdom. You may be stubborn in holding onto your own will—or you can be determined to stick to what God has called you to do. You can be passive when action is called for—or you can be trusting in God’s power, waiting to see how he will work out things that look unredeemable to you.
The key is to let God’s love penetrate your mind each day so that his thoughts flow into your mind and his love flows into your heart. If you hold onto him, he can purify you and prepare you for his service. If you focus on him instead of other people’s shortcomings, you can become a powerful instrument in his hands.
“Lord, you created me to love you as no one else can. You know me inside and out. Thank you for loving me and calling me to follow you.”