February 11, 2020 – 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Year 2

“Avoiding the judgmental tendency and focusing on the positives of life, by beholding the Presence and Glory of the Lord in all!”

(Based on 1 Kgs 8:22-23, 27-30 and Mk 7:1-13)

The microscope is an instrument used to see objects that are too small for the naked eye.

The basic microscope is an optical instrument that uses a lens or a combination of lenses to produce magnified images of small objects – especially of objects that are too small to be seen by the unaided eye.

• Microscopes are used in industrial processes, in investigation of living cells, in comparative studies of chemistry and geology, and in diagnostic medicine.

• Biologists and doctors use microscopes on cell samples, on small organisms, and on chemical structures, to classify and analyze them and their functions.

When we consider relationships, it won’t be wrong to say that there are many who use microscopes in their dealings and interactions.

• Microscopes to focus on the mistakes and negative aspects of others

• Microscopes to magnify and enlarge the faults and failures of others

Perhaps, some of us are also guilty of having such a “microscopic” view of the defects and imperfections of others.

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus “focusing” His view on this very critical and crucial topic: of judging others and of pinpointing mistakes of others without considering one’s own negative dimensions.

As human beings, we are constantly in the mode of “judging”

>> Judging in the sense of “choosing” or “making a selection” or “taking a decision”

But the Lord clearly warns us to be wary and careful in this act of “judging”

Our judging…

… should not be rash

… should not a final opinion on a person or situation

… should not be a means to putting down other persons

… should not be an unfair ruling on someone’s external behaviours

Maybe a check-list could help us examine our areas of “judging”

Do I…

… enlarge the negatives of others—their faults, mistakes and petty ways?

… come to hasty and negative conclusions of situations or persons?

… get involved unnecessarily in situations where I should not?

… gossip critical stories and uncharitable tales regarding others?

… have a strong prejudice to find others guilty?

… be overly harsh and even ruthless, even when speaking the truth?

Do I…

… add “spicy” remarks and “sensational” jingles when telling a real-story or event?

… set aside an unkind comment made by us, by simply saying, “I was just kidding!”

… speak something critical and then try to cover it up?

… be unkind and hurtful and then quickly change the subject, to impress the hurtful feeling?

… have pleasure in condemning others?

… report the truth in order to hurt and not to help?

… put down others with an intention to let ourselves be seen better?

The Lord strongly warns to keep away from all these and many more acts of such “judgment”.

It is also good to consider judging from another perspective:

When somebody does an act, which we consider that it can be “judged”, there are two areas which we may not really know…

1. How hard the person has tried “not to do” that particular action – be it a sin, or a mistake or a failure or a blunder etc…

2. How strong were the external forces or the circumstances that “made the person to do” that particular action…

Many of us may have perhaps, a tendency to use a “microscope” in finding the faults and failures of others.

>> We tend to focus

>> We tend to magnify

>> We tend to relish looking closely!

The Lord is serious on making us walk the “path of perfection”

• Making efforts to become “less judgmental” is an essential part of this process.

May we focus the lens of our microscopes from looking at the “faults” of others…

… and instead shift to concentrate more on the “positives”, the “brighter” and the “affirmative” areas of people and situations.

We are invited to focus on the positives of life, by beholding the Presence and Glory of the Lord in all!

King Solomon stood in the majestic temple of the Lord and acknowledged the Mighty and Glorious Presence of God Yahweh (1 Kgs 8:22-23)

>> May we see the presence of the Lord in all the people and situations of our life as we seek to sing with the Psalmist: “How lovely is thy dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!” (Ps 84:1)

May we today specially seek the special intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes, who on this day – Feb 11 – 1858, began to appear to St Bernadette, a 14 year old girl.

>> Let us seek to imitate the Immaculate Life of our Blessed Mother in Her undivided focus in doing the Will of the Lord…

… and reaching out, in total charity and humility, in the service of God’s people.

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “It is wonderful how attractive a gentle, pleasant manner is…

… and how much, it wins hearts!”

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