Saturday of the First Week in Ordinary Time (January 13, 2017): Gentleness of Judgment

Thứ Sáu, 12-01-2018 | 15:14:05

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark (Mk 2:13-17)

Jesus went out along the sea. All the crowd came to him and he taught them. As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him. Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors and said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus heard this and said to them, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

Good News Reflection:

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you. Increase my faith. Help me to see the invisible good in others the way you see it.

Petition: Lord, give me your goodness of heart and gentleness of judgment.

1. Thoughts in Check. The Pharisees ask why Jesus was eating with tax collectors and sinners, unveiling the depths of their judgmental hearts. To judge another –– to view him in a negative light and to think and believe the worst about him –– is to be filled with self-righteousness. This form of pride is the result of being inordinately in love with oneself and one’s own way of seeing things, people and events, regardless of the objective truth, that is, the way God sees them. When a person is judgmental and full of self in this way, there is little room for God and charity in the soul.

2. The Measure Measured Out to You. “Stop judging,” Jesus says, “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” (Matthew 7:1-4). The Pharisees noticed the splinter in the eyes of the tax collectors and sinners, but failed to see the wooden beam of their own self-righteousness. “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 7:5).

3. Drawing Goodness from the Well of Salvation. A soul united to God sees good in everyone and draws that good out through charity and compassion. When a Pharisee judged a sinful woman in the Gospel (Luke 7:36-50), he choked off hope in her soul, since she found no path to hope in his cruel view of her. When she met Jesus, on the other hand, she found someone who for the first time saw good in her and affirmed her intrinsic worth as a daughter of God. The goodness of Christ’s heart drew goodness out from her, and she chose to change her life out of love for him. Thinking well of others, speaking well of them, and believing in their goodness, has the power to transform lives.

Dialogue with Christ: Lord, help me to believe in the good I may not see in others, knowing that treating others with faith in their goodness has the power to unleash the best in them. 

Resolution: Today, I will master my thoughts and treat someone I know the way Christ would treat them.

Fr. Marcial Maciel, LC

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