Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

Today’s Gospel is Matthew’s version of Jesus telling us to stop judging others.  More precisely, he tells us not to keep judging others as is often our habit in order that God might not judge us. 

Why do we fall into the habit of judging others? 

One reason might be a lack of confidence about ourselves, especially when we make the mistake of unnecessarily comparing ourselves to others.  In judging others negatively, we feel better about ourselves by comparison.  But we lose when we allow ourselves to get sucked into this comparison in the first place. 

We need to remember that our measure of success is independent of the success (or failure) of others.  Our truest measure of success is our faithfulness to God and our willingness to live out God’s plan for us.

When we become judgmental all the time about others, it clouds our vision about ourselves.  We fail to see the areas in which we need to improve because we are so often consumed with pointing out others’ failures.

Remember though our own call to holiness.  Remember the Greatest Commandment.  If we love God with our entire being, that love will manifest itself in a loving service of neighbor.  We will be keenly aware of our own sins.  We will be keenly aware that we are not able to cast the first stone against our neighbor.  That does not mean that we do not see objectively sinful actions for what they are.  It does not mean that we condone sins.  It does mean that we give others the benefit of the doubt regarding their motivations.  If we know that we are sinners ourselves, then we see ourselves as sinners helping other sinners on this journey. 

Answering that call to holiness allows us to begin to realize our potential for sainthood.  We do so only through our cooperation with God’s grace.  We do so when we realize our own sinfulness without losing sight of the greatness possible with God.  When we stop trying to compare ourselves to others and start comparing ourselves to God’s expectations for each of us.

When have I found myself comparing myself to others?  In my relationship with Christ, have I found a greater sense of who I am supposed to be independent of any comparison with others?