Readings for Monday June 20, 2011
First Reading: Genesis 12:1-9
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 33
Gospel: Matthew 7:1-5
"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." (Matthew 7:1-5)
I don't know about you, but I find that in our lives things like judgement and criticism are things that tend to have a one way streak. When it comes judging and criticizing each other, we are very good and usually are willing to offer this "advice" for free. It is however, a whole different story when it comes to us receiving judgement and criticism. When it comes to these things, we are much better at dishing it out, than taking it. We only seem to want to tell people what is wrong with them, instead of someone pointing out what is wrong with us. Which leads us to this question, why are we so willing to judge and label people? I would say that it is because of our own insecurities. We must remember however, that we are not called to judge one another, but rather, to love one another.
Christ provides us with an important warning in today's gospel. We must be very careful how we judge, for how we judge, we will also be judged. Christ tells us, "the measure with which we measure will be measured out to us." All of us are quick to notice the "splinter" in our neighbors eye, but we are not so quick to notice our own flaws, bad habits, and even sins.
There is certainly nothing wrong with pointing out what someone is doing wrong, especially if it can really help the person, but there are certainly right and wrong ways of doing this. We also must examine our motive in correcting someone. If our motive in correcting someone is to hurt them or to make them feel small, then we certainly still have a "log in our eye" and we cannot help the other person. But, if we are motivated out of love and to actually help the person and provide them with constructive criticism , then we have removed the "log from our eye" and can see clearly to help.
Today, let us choose to love our neighbors as ourselves. Let us all "measure with the measure which we would want measured out to us." If we must give feedback to someone, let us make sure that it is constructive and out of love. Remember, we are not called to judge one another, but rather to love one another as Christ loves us.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, help us to love as you love us. Fill our hearts with you, so that we may go out in this world and be the lights that we are called to be. Lord, you know what is best for us, and we trust you with all our heart. Lord, we pray for all those who seek to hurt and condemn with their words and actions, may they be brought to your truth and understand what it means to love. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.