A man, occupying an important and influential position in the society was often criticized for his honest and just way of dealing with things.
Once his friend enquired of him: “Why don’t you give fitting replies to your critics?”
To that the person replied:
“In my native town lives a widow who has a dog.
>> Whenever the moon shines, it goes outside and barks all night.”
The friend, confused on that example, asked: “ I didn’t get you…
… what is it about the dog and the moon?”
“Oh,” the man continued, “the moon went on shining — that’s all.”
Our lives our often marked by a number of criticisms and condemnations.
>> People often make “their own” yardsticks, to measure others actions, and to find a way of criticizing others!
People make “their own” measuring tapes, to determine the deeds of other people, and thus find ways to put down other people!
Are we also sometimes in the category of those who “criticize and condemn” others?
The Gospel of the day is an invitation to examine this common human tendency of assessing others’ manners and conduct based on “standards and measurements” that are set by ourselves.
· Do I evaluate the action of another person based on my own “prejudiced” mindset… or do I measure it with the yardstick that God uses?
· Do I critically analyse other people’s attitudes from my own “biased” perspective… or do I gauge it with the benchmark that God proposes?
In the Gospel, we see the disciples of John who come to Jesus with a critical query:
“Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” (Mt 9:14)
It is interesting to note the reason that the disciples of John use here, in order to ask put forward their question…
It would be something like this…
“We, the disciples of John… we follow our Master in leading an ascetic and hard life.
>> We fast often times during the week… we live a hard life.
Look at the Pharisees too.. they fast twice a week, which is more than the stipulated requirement of the Law.
We engage ourselves in so much of fasting.
But look at your disciples…
They are only found to be enjoying life!
>> Why don’t they fast… like we do… ??”
>> They had perhaps made “their own” yardsticks to measure the actions of the disciples and found a way of criticising them!
>> They had perhaps made “their own” measuring tapes to determine the deeds of the disciples, and thus found ways to put them down!
But the Lord asks them to change this their “yardstick” and “measuring scale” of judging other people.
Jesus gives an example of the bridegroom and the context of a marriage.
Marriage is the time of joy and celebration… not of mourning or being sad.
It is a time of feasting.. and not fasting!
>> A time of feasting on God’s tremendous Providence and Grace!
>> A time of feasting on the Love and Compassion shown by the Lord!
The Lord makes a challenge….
… consider and evaluate situations from the “eyes of God” – in the way that God sees.
… assess and measure people in the “manner of God” – with the approach that God takes.
It is said that when God measures a person, He puts the tape around the heart, and not the head!
The attitude of “criticizing and complaining” is a constant temptation.
We may perhaps, also be victims of the same.
>> But let us always remain “true to ourselves, and honest in what we do”
Let the Charity of God always radiate in us and thus know for sure…
… “the moon of God’s Love always goes on shining!”
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Never confuse your mistakes with your value as a human being. You’re a perfectly valuable, creative, worthwhile person simply because you exist.
>> And no amount of triumphs or tribulations can ever change that.
Unconditional self acceptance is the core of a peaceful mind!”