After the big celebrations of “All Saints” and “All Souls,” I continue my Journey in the ordinary and I continue to focus on the Gospel of last Sunday – the call to authenticity is strong; I do not want to be identified by Jesus as one of those who preach but do not practice.
Today’s Word helps me (of course!). The first reading ends with this command: “Then let us no longer judge one another, but rather resolve never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.” Judging the other is the eternal temptation. I realized that the Pharisees were criticizing Jesus no because they were bad people with evil intentions. Behind their accusations there were false ideas and misunderstandings. True: we judge others based on our prejudices. Therefore the challenge begins within me not in the other, it is my heart that needs to be changed not the other.
I think of the past. How many times, in order to make my ideas and thoughts be heard, I disrespected the other or even ridiculed their positions. Never acceptable. And I am so glad that I have been at the school of the Gospel, learning how to live and relate better. But the temptation is always strong and comes at unexpected times. Why? There is the inner desire to be accepted and to be respected and valued for what we think gives meaning to our lives. (But don’t I already know that what gives meaning to my life is God’s Love?)
This must end. The Gospel teaches me to become more “active” in loving the other and loving him or her as a “whole,” not just the parts that are convenient or I like. I have to keep in mind that the other is not going to heaven because I approve his/her ideas or opinions but because God loves him/her immensely.
What to do? How can I get better at this? The parable that Jesus gives me today points to something that seems to be God’s favorite activity: rejoicing over us. Then, I want to rejoice in and about what makes God rejoice. If He rejoice because a sinner changes his way, then I will do the same.
I can do this if I remain fixed in the will of God, keep my gaze on His face and my head on His heart. I have to start seeing things and people from His point of view.
Judging the other or rejoicing for the other? I will choose Rejoicing. I know that in living this way “I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.”
Another great day ahead of me!!!!!