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Judging the Circumstances

Today’s gospel begins,

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
“Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.”

The line “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” was the source of the motto for the Jubilee Year of Mercy that we just concluded in November 2016 on the Solemnity of Christ the King.  While the Jubilee Year of Mercy has ended, our own need to receive mercy and our call to show mercy to others never ends.

When I think about Jesus’ words “Stop judging and you will not be judged,” I think about how we might rush to judgment of others when we do not know all the circumstances.  If we do something wrong, don’t we want God and others to take the circumstances into account?  Then we need to realize we must never rush to judgment of others.

As I read today’s readings, I remembered a visit I had to the emergency room fifteen years ago.  I was the patient but not a “terrible” problem.  I had cut my left hand and it was just bad enough to need a couple of stitches.  I waited and waited in the room waiting for the doctor.  As I waited, I began to wonder how long it would take.  Yet, I was aware that the ER had three possible heart cases come in and one of them was my mother.  So I decided I could be patient waiting because I knew there was more going than just me.  If I hadn’t known the circumstances (with my mother as one of the patients), I would have become very frustrated.

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

Incidentally, my mother ended up not having heart issues.  She had COPD with Emphysema and was having a bad spell.  I was at her house working on stuff when she got bad so I called the ambulance.  You should have seen the look on the EMT’s face when he came in the door on a call for “difficult breathing” and I was standing there holding a bandage over my wrist.  I pointed him to my mother, saying I would be fine.  I just needed someone to bandage me so I could follow the ambulance in my car.

2 Comments

  1. Maureen says:

    Thank you Father for your humble sharing of your life experience especially when it involved your mother 15 years ago.

    I always believe that sometimes bad circumstances (like you needed bandage) is all planned by God our Creator of Heaven & Earth. It is what you choose to do will have an impact on the situations. If deep down in your heart you just needed a ride to the hospital, God will allow your mother to experience the heart issue or problem because you love our own mother like how
    she has shown the love for you and this was the turning point that kept you calm and patient.

    I always believe that we can learn much from not only our mother but our Spiritual Mother Mary. She was obedient and just trusted God or should I say the Angel Gabriel that God sent.

    While our earthly mother may not always be around (especially many orphans and those with no role model to look up to), we know that Mother Mary is always there and there is always Hope.

    I have many personal life experiences with my Trust and Love for Jesus’s Mother and I always ask her to intercede with all my prayers and petitions and bring them to the Heart of Jesus.I can see the fruits of the Holy Spirit in this earthly life and eternal life working in my family not by my might but by the power of the Holy Spirit.Jesus will never turn away all His mother’s prayers because He loved her just like how you and I loved our earthly mothers. There is definitely Hope with Jesus & Mary working alongside each other like the 1st Miracle Jesus performed with the help of his mother.

    This is also true to say there is Hope when Religion and Science work together for the goodness of the whole human race.

    God Bless
    Maureen

  2. RMB says:

    Fr. Jeff,
    I agree with you people are quick to judge others and what they are thinking. They form opinions without talking or discussing how they see things compared to the other person. Because of this they often don’t have all of the information or all of the correct information and they can come to the wrong conclusion. So communication is a good place to start so that in the end you do not have to answer to God as to why you have judged someone else and possibly judged them wrongly.

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