This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Jesus said to his disciples: “Stop judging…Stop condemning…Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
The best example of this is a basketball game. Yesterday, our kids were winning. We were cheering. We thought we had the game in the bag. And then we lost in the final second.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. How is God merciful, especially when we consider the state of human affairs? I believe God’s mercy must rely on the fact that he knows us better than we know ourselves and each other.
The Lord is capable of seeing through our barriers – our walls – our exterior. He even sees through our actions. To be merciful, therefore, must mean to penetrate the exterior of a person and come in contact with their heart, mind and soul.
To be merciful means to be able to write off the exterior postering, not the interior reality; to see every adult as a child, as a wanted and beloved child.
Stop Judging and you will not be judged. Does this mean that we cannot know right from wrong, or that we should never offer an opinion on anything to anyone? Does this mean we should eliminate our legal system and all our courts? Of course not! We must be allowed to judge an action for what it is. But we must be careful not to label a man based solely on what he has done, for who he is is much greater than the sum of all his actions.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Let’s not close the book on anyone. Let’s leave the judging and condemning of men to God. What we should be doing, therefore, is exactly what the Lord asked us to do: “Go and make disciples throughout the world.”
Let’s not write anyone off. Let’s not shut the door on all the good someone can do because of all the bad they have done. Rather, let’s seek what’s good. Let’s seek their conversion. We should not condemn anyone, not even the “dead”, for my son was dead as has come back to life. He was lost and has been found.
Forgive and you will be forgiven. If forgiving people is hard for you to do, then it’s because you do not love.
Not too long ago, I spoke to a young man who gave up a wonderful career to become a priest. After nearly six months in the seminary, he was having a hard time with the reality of his decision. He told me how difficult it was for him to live with the other seminarians. Often he got jealous of them. At times, he would be frustrated with them. This young man felt alone and abandoned. Now, he was wondering if God had even called him to the priesthood. I told him that his difficulties were not the signs of a lack of a vocation, but the signs of pride, vanity and sensuality. I said to him, “Be patient and be kind. God is teaching you many things. But what he is really teaching you is how to love. Remember? Love is patient. Love is kind. Love bears all things, endures all things, hopes all things, believes all things…Love never fails. Through your difficulties, the Lord is teaching you how to love.”
These words did not come from me, they came from the Holy Spirit.
Resolution: To write off the sin, not the sinner.
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