Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations/ ).
Today’s passage from 2 Kings reminds us that the Lord constantly warned Israel and Judah to “give up your evil ways and keep my commandments.” But of course they did not listen. Such hardness of heart was one of the few realities which Jesus could not abide. In today’s gospel, Jesus gets at one particular example of this hardness of heart – the ways we judge one another. “Do not judge,” Jesus said. Such judgments reveal more about ourselves than about the persons we judge. Frequently they reveal our own narrow, ungenerous spirit – our personal “hardness of heart.”
Jesus’ teachings are all about generosity. God lets the sun shine on both good and bad people alike. Thus a genuinely religious person doesn’t sit in judgment on others. Rather, with a generous, open-handed spirit, we are invited to follow St. Paul’s advice: “Owe nothing to anyone but to love them.” (Romans 13:8)
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Lord, sometimes we assume the worst in others but give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. We view our own behavior as situational but that of others as character flaws. When we become mean spirited could it be that our own spirit is feeling insecure, less than positive about decisions, behaviors and accomplishments. Help us, Lord, to distinguish between standing for the truth and labeling others out of our own weakness. Give us the courage to check our motives and not to partake in the negative conversation about family, friends, and co-workers.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!