– Monday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time –
“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.” [Matthew 7:1]
I often feel uncomfortable when I read the words from this gospel passage today – ‘Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.’ At times it can seem almost automatic to criticise or be envious towards those who look or act differently from me. I have often judged without even realising it.
But what Jesus is calling us to do is given to us in the great commandment, ‘love the lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind, and with all your strength… and love your neighbour as yourself.’ (Mark 12:33) It’s not easy to do but essential to being a follower of Jesus.
So how can we be more aware of the times when we judge people? How can we love our neighbour as ourselves? It comes with mercy and compassion, by placing ourselves in another’s shoes, by keeping an awareness of our own actions and by turning our eyes to Jesus. Because when we focus on others – we do not have time to focus on our own weaknesses, we do not have time to love our neighbour. As St Mother Teresa of Calcutta says “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
So let us pray that we have an open heart and look with compassion and understanding of others in our lives. Let us seek forgiveness for our failings. Moreover, love. Lord, help us to love.
by Lisa McKerr