REFLECTION CAPSULE – Feb 08, 2022: Tuesday

“Having joyful countenances and radiating the Love and Mercy of Christ!”

(Based on 1 Kgs 8:22-23, 27-30 and Mk 7:1-13 – Tuesday of the 5th Week in Ordinary Time)

An elderly lady was known to always have a very pleasant countenance.

Anyone, who came in contact with her, would experience a sense of positivity.

They had never heard her criticizing or finding faults with people.

She was once asked by some of her neighbouring children on the secret of her joy.

She replied:
“I have always believed in avoiding to talk negative about people.

We need to be always good with the good.

But let us never be bad with the bad…

… we can shape a diamond with diamond

But we can’t wash mud with mud…!”

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 and criticising”

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus “focussing” 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.

The Gospel reading describes a group of Pharisees who criticize the disciples of Jesus for not following the “external traditions” and rituals.

They pinpointed the mistakes of the disciples…
… and exalted themselves

Jesus however reminds the Pharisees on an important aspect: Before judging and criticizing others…
… one ought to first examine one’s own behaviour and actions

Jesus reminded them that “true devotion consists not of mere external purity and rituals…
… rather is a way of life, with consistent and committed focos on the Spirit of laws, rules and regulations.

With this fundamental principle in mind, Jesus teaches us to avoid the tendency to “rashly judge and criticize others”

The Lord reminds us that 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 simple list could help us check 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?
… add “spicy” remarks and “sensational” jingles when telling a real-story or event?
… do away with an unkind comment 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?
… recount 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 “judgement”.

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

itr can be a sin, or a mistake or a failure or a blunder etc…

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

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.

Many of us may have perhaps have a tendency to find the faults and failures of others.

Let us make a conscious and consistent effort to avoid negative talk about people.

Let us realise that “we need to be always good with the good.

But let us never be bad with the bad…

Because, we can shape a diamond with diamond

But we can’t wash mud with mud…!”

We also seek the intercession of St Bakhita, whose feast we celebrate today.

This saint from Sudan – canonised in the year 2000 – is a powerful symbol of love and forgiveness.
She rose above the “blaming” characters in her society and displayed the fruits of love and forgiveness.

Concentrating more on the “positives”, the “brighter” and the “affirmative” areas of people and situations…
… let us also, always have joyful countenances, radiating the Love and Mercy of Christ!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism*

What is “rising”?
In death, the separation of the soul from the body, the human body decays and the soul goes to meet God, while awaiting its reunion with its glorified body. God, in his almighty power, will definitively grant incorruptible life to our bodies by reuniting them with our souls, through the power of Jesus’ Resurrection.

Who will rise? All the dead will rise, “those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.” (CCC # 997-998)

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