In today’s gospel, Jesus warns people to “stop judging so that you will not be judged.” What happens to us when all we do is judge other people’s actions, looks, behaviors, habits, etc.? I believe, quite simply, we stop listening. We can no longer hear the other person for who they are because the judgements we have made about them create a space which lacks the intimacy that relationship calls forth. The result is simply a superficial relationship; or, at best, a relationship built on false pretense.
Jesus begs us to listen with an open heart. In this kind of relationship there is a “hearing” that takes place which displaces any judgements that may have been put in the way and a healthy life-giving intimacy takes root. The empathy that replaces judgement stops us from running around behind other’s backs and gossiping or commenting and allows a face-to-face discussion that shows emotional and psychological maturity, leaving a serene calm in the face of any challenge.
Spiritual Reflection: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
Blessings of love,