. . . since you, the judge, do the very same things.
Have you ever awakened in the night from a nightmare, heart pounding? A wild animal or a mean-looking dog or person is chasing you. It can be a frightening moment making it difficult to get back to sleep wondering about the dream and why it came.
Could that experience be any worse than if you were in the audience hearing this respected religious leader Paul saying, “You, O man (woman), are without excuses, every one of you who passes judgment. Do you suppose, then, you who judge those who engage in such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?”
Let’s be honest. Have I never acted like the Pharisees or the scholars of the law, passing judgment or having unrealistic expectations of another? Indeed, our unfair judgments and expectations can “impose on people burdens hard to carry.” Imagine being in that audience hearing our Lord and Savior Jesus, saying angrily, “Woe to you ‘hypocrite!’”
As someone who has studied and worked with my dreams for some four decades, I know they can be an invitation to spend time in self-reflection, stepping back in “priceless kindness, forbearance, and patience” to recognize the blind spots, the projections, the “specks” in my own eye that lead to those unfair judgments.
Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament or in my favorite prayer space is a wonderful opportunity to reflect upon these challenging readings from today’s liturgy (as well as any nightmare); to be honest with myself; to recognize when I “engage in such things,” to face my own Phariseeism. I also know from experience that to do so usually softens the harsh feelings, unfair expectations, and judgments I have toward the other, leading to greater patience and compassion for the other.
Let Us Pray:
Only in God is my soul at rest; from him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed. Trust in him at all times, pour out your hearts before him; God is our refuge. (From today’s Psalm 62)
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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