The Gospel Today
Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to his disciples:
“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.”
Reflection (Sem. John Paul Adia):
One of the mostly used defense mechanism is “projection.” Projection is a way of passing to others the stress to relieve oneself – may it be verbal or physical. In some way, this is how I judge. I will keep on blaming others’ flaws without recognizing my own flaws. I will hate my book if I cannot comprehend; I will blame the alarm clock if I am not able to wake up on time; but worst, I will blame my brothers’ incapacity and limitation if I feel that I have not done enough. It is all in my mind. I am blinded by my self-righteousness.
During our Life Healing Journey, we were given a tool to recognize our shadows. These shadows were the personality or issues that may be hidden or present in our consciousness. I can remember the activity when we walked on the street and look at people. While observing them, we were invited to recognize our feelings. Was there any positive or negative feeling that we felt? And indeed I had written a lot in my activity book. I was surprised when it was revealed that those feeling were our shadows. It was easy to accept the positive feeling but the negative ones surprised me and made me doubt. Why is it so? When I reflected about it, the self-righteous part of me was revealed. I am stuck with the thought that I will never be inappropriate in my actions and words. But that was my judgment – an outward recognition of blame, anger and fear. How compassionate God is. He is the one who led me to this program to help me realize these things. I think I convinced myself that I am good and kind enough but He invited me to continuously nourish my deep concern for others; to open my eyes and make it a passage of God’s compassion; to animate me in helping others. To do this, I should be able to recognize my self – my thoughts and my own character.
“Stop judging so you may not be judged.” With these words of Jesus, the invitation to me is to be a channel of His Mercy and to be discerning in every action and decision that I am making. Even Pope Francis said: “Who am I to judge?” I hope that my heart is open to God’s plan for me and for my neighbor. May my heart be ready to always see the goodness in others. Amen.