Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
I often marvel, as I pull slivers of wood or metal from my husband’s hands after one of his projects, how much a small splinter can hurt and how deep it can lodge itself. Something so insignificant and tiny can cause so much pain. Jesus’ words in the Gospel reading today are especially challenging as we strive to keep joy and love alive in our hearts. While we are called to exercise good judgment and hold ourselves and others to a higher standard, God alone is the ultimate judge of others’ lives, not us. Words are like splinters of the heart—once spoken they can wound deeply and painfully. Thus we should be especially careful when tempted to be judgmental.
Reflect upon today’s Gospel and ask yourself: what planks do I need to remove from my own eyes before I am tempted “to remove the splinter” from my brother’s or sister’s eye?
—Julianne Stanz is a speaker, writer and mother of three, originally from Ireland. She currently serves as Director of the New Evangelization for the Diocese of Green Bay, WI.
Grant me, O Lord, good digestion, and also something to digest.
Grant me a healthy body, and the necessary good humor to maintain it.
Grant me a simple soul that knows to treasure all that is good
and that doesn’t frighten easily at the sight of evil,
but rather finds the means to put things back in their place.
Give me a soul that knows not boredom, grumblings, sighs and laments,
nor excess of stress, because of that obstructing thing called “I.”
Grant me, O Lord, a sense of good humor.
Allow me the grace to be able to take a joke to discover in life a bit of joy,
and to be able to share it with others.
—Prayer for Good Humor, St. Thomas More