Word to the Wise

Monday, June 25, 2018 - Monday in the 12th Week in Ordinary Time

[2 Kgs 17:5-8, 13-15a, 18 and Matt 7:1-5]

MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2018 MONDAY IN THE TWELFTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME [2 Kings 17:5-8, 13-15a, 18 and Matthew 7:1-5] “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 no not perceived the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from you eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye?” [Matthew] Very few people will confess to being too worried about what to wear and eat (at least in the population I serve), but legions of them confess to being judgmental. Maybe that’s why Jesus includes this interior disposition in Christianity 101. Of course, it’s usually a matter of negative judgment. Most folks do not mention the positive judgments they make about folks, only the negative ones. Indeed, some folks are convinced that they are making positive judgments when they interfere in another person’s life. “I’m only trying to help,” they say! This kind of sincerity can be difficult! My father was a judge, and I remember a gift we gave him when he was elected - a huge gavel, the symbol of the office. It might be a useful spiritual exercise to ask about the size of our gavel as a way of understanding about the splinter and beam. Can we throw away the gavel or bury it so that in order to judge we have to go and dig it up? The Sermon on the Mount means to challenge behavior that is interior as well as exterior. The interior gavel is harder to bury, but like all bad habits, it can be replaced by a good one. This takes effort, but Jesus promises the effort is worthwhile. AMEN

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