Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Day 13: Monday of the Second Week of Lent – Luke 6:37
Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Today’s Lenten Reflection
The instructions today seem simple enough in theory, but they are oh so difficult to practice. In our world of ‘judge first, ask questions later’ (if at all), it is only becoming increasingly difficult. Judgment seems to be society’s mantra. “Be like me (or understandable to me) … or else,” the world says. Unfortunately, that attitude is often adopted by church folks too. Being a believer does not make us immune to the penchant for judging and condemning others. In fact, the enemy will try hard to get us to do so. The chasm between “traditional” and “progressive” seems to be widening as we lose sight of the one thing — the one Person — in whom we believe and have been instructed by.
Jesus does not mince words when it comes to what He expects of us. If you do not want to be judged by others or by Him, do not judge. If you want to be forgiven, dig deep and find the mercy necessary to let go and forgive the person you’ve been carrying the grudge for. When we focus on our own relationship with God and living the way He wills, rather than worrying about whether everyone else is getting it right, we begin to soften. Our souls become lighter and we begin to walk again in the way of the Lord. Remember, we cannot receive what we are unwilling to give.
Day 13 Lenten Meditation
The place to start today is right where we are, with the people closest to us — at home, at work, in our parish, on our street. Whom do we need to forgive? What do we need to release? It could be as simple as forgiving a spouse who didn’t thank you for something you had done or letting go of the anger you have with a friend or with a child. Or maybe biting your tongue when you want to join in with others in the office or at the party and gossip about so-and-so who isn’t present. It may seem insignificant day to day, but it is anything but. This is where it all begins — with each one of us making choices in each given moment.
Father of mercy, forgive us for the times we have failed to forgive others or act according to Your ways. Help us today to lay down any and all grudges we may be carrying, knowing that we cannot be fully forgiven until we are willing to do the same. Most merciful Father, please keep our mind and heart open to hearing Your Word and listening to Your message so we become (and remain) active listeners — seeking always to hear Your Word and do Your will. Amen.
Today’s suggested Penance
*Do some extraordinary kindness to someone who would never expect it
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has first forgiven the inexcusable in you” –C.S. Lewis.