"Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you."
How often do we judge our neighbor? Judgments have become an everyday thing for us. “He’s a creeper”, “She’s a know it all”, “He’s a liar”…. etc… In this chapter of Luke Jesus tells us that the measure by which we measure will be used to measure us. That simply means that God will treat you as you treated him. Don’t forget that God is in all of us. We are Christ’s living body or as St. Therese would say we are little Christs called to live like Christ because Christ dwells within each of us. So when we judge our neighbor… we judge Christ. When we condemn our neighbor we are condemning Christ. When we pigeon hole our brothers and sisters into a category that we think they belong in or dwell in negativity towards a person we not only do this to Christ as well, but we rob them of their dignity as a human person. Christ called us to Love like he loved, and he loved you so much that he died on a cross for you, and for each and every human person. Picture the weirdest, ugliest, most sinful, or most “screwed up” person you can. Get a real good mental image of this person. Ok got it? Now would you willingly give up your life for that person? Would you even give up drinking, or watching TV, or sarcasm for that person? Would I? Would any of us? It’s easy for us to say yes to these questions and feel good about ourselves, but would we really follow through or are these just words? I think the truth is that more often than not we would rather love ourselves and have our way than truly love our brothers and sisters. However, every moment… of every day…EVERY person deserves to retain the fullness of their dignity as a human person, their dignity as the beloved of Christ. Our job is not one of condemnation, or judgment, as Dane Cook would say, “I’m not the Lord. I can’t do that.” God called us to Love and forgive. He loved and forgave every person who had a hand in his death (“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” -Luke 23:34) how petty are you and I then, that we can not forgive each other for the smallest thing, or love each other in spite of our flaws? Those two things, Love and forgiveness, just might change somebody’s life forever. In fact they just might save somebody’s life. God promised that if we give (and giving means sacrificing and dying to self) he will pour his overflowing gifts upon us. But, when we steal that dignity from our neighbor we measure them with a small cup. God will measure his gifts to us with that same cup.
I don’t know about you, but I want the biggest cup I can have of things like; Mercy, Love, Justice, Peace, Grace, Salvation and Eternal Life…etc… I’m talking bigger than the 100 ounce Mountain Dew cups Travis, Nick and I bought at the fair. But again let’s go back, what am I measuring my forgiveness and Love with?
Later in this passage Jesus tells us to remove the board from our own eye before we worry about the spec in our neighbors. There is no room in the body of Christ for casting dispersions. We are all in need of the saving power of Christ’s love and forgiveness. The personal problems we have with others are actually just failed opportunities to share that Love and forgivness on our part.
“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” Luke 6:37,38
We Pray… Lord God, as summer slowly comes to a close, and the school year creeps up upon us, let us prepare our hearts and our minds to measure our neighbor with a God sized cup. Help us to see the dignity and beauty in every human being as well as your very Life, which is your Grace, dwelling within them. Guide our hearts and minds from judgment and condemnation into forgiveness and love. We pray through the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel that you drive away the evil that desires our hearts, and causes us to dwell in negativity. Saint Michael, Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do thou, Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell Satan and all evil spirits who prowl the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.
Challenge… This week challenge yourself to recognize one person you may have injured through judgment or condemnation. Don’t pick somebody that you already feel like you have wounded. Try to recognize for the first time how your actions may have robbed somebody of their dignity, and once you have a person in mind dedicate at least 5 minutes to praying for this person, and for the strength and faith to bring Love and forgiveness into your relationship with them.
May God Bless you all this week, and may the remainder of your summer vacations be filled with relaxation and enjoyment!
Your Brother from a Holy Mother,