Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

“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?

“For freedom Christ set us free!” Saint Paul declares in his Letter to the Galatians. (5:1) and the Lord especially would free us from the narcotic of judging others. Whatever pleasure we take in it is far outweighed by its dire consequences.

Judgments come so readily: “What kind of mother would let her son fall into the gorilla cage or be grabbed by an alligator?”; “Why do people keep guns in reach of children?”; "Those kids shouldn't be driving with other kids!"; “Why do young Muslim men and women come from every nation to join ISIS?”
We cannot imagine why “those people” do what they do. They must be evil or stupid. It seems that God makes bad people.
Recently we were told again, “His sun shines on the just and the unjust; his rain falls on the good and the bad.”
That is a radical notion of God. Despite the familiar, overpowering vision of the Lord who comes at the end of time to judge the nations, here is a story of God who does not judge, who bestows his benefits impartially on everyone.

How often are we confronted with unnerving stories of bad people showing extraordinary kindness and good people committing atrocities?
Christians understand freedom primarily as freedom from myself: my opinions, desires, fears, prejudices and, most importantly, my way of seeing things. I just don't need all that baggage. 

With prayer, daily examen of conscious, and frequent reality checks with real people (who are so unlike those fictitious others who live entirely in our heads), we can notice how often we judge others and, becoming aware, choose to be less opinionated. 

“For freedom Christ set us free so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.!”

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.