Date: Sunday, March 03, 2019
Last Sunday in the Gospel according to St. Luke, Jesus says to his disciples: “Stop judging and you will not be judged.” These words of Jesus caution us about rushing to rash judgments and prejudging people (prejudice). These judgments are unfair and wrong. Nor can we presume to judge the depth of a person’s heart known only to God. But there are times when we have a responsibility to make prudential judgments. For example: when parents correct their children by judging behavior as good or bad; when someone is deciding on the person they may marry and spend their life with; when a person is hiring someone, or a parent is choosing a babysitter.
We know Jesus also admonishes his disciples, when someone is in harm’s way, to prayerfully and thoughtfully make brotherly and sisterly correction. This is not easy to do. In our Gospel today Jesus warns his disciples about attempting to guide others when they are blind to their own faults or excuse their own behavior and condemn others. “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?” No one is perfect but we do need to get our own life in order before we tell others what they should do.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. When ashes are imprinted on our foreheads in the shape of a cross, we hear one of two refrains: Repent and believe in the Gospel and Remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return. When we step forward to receive this sacramental, we are expressing a willingness to embark on a journey of repentance and conversion. With reverence we are approaching the Pascal Mystery of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Lent is a season of discernment, of honesty and of humility when we recognize our own sinfulness and together enter the mystery of God’s mercy.