Most of us at some point in our lives have been guilty of judging others unfairly. In today’s reading, we see the same thing happening with the inhabitants of Jerusalem as they encounter Jesus. They did not approve when Jesus criticized their way of life, and openly mock Jesus by saying “He judges us debased…with revilement and torture let us put him to the test.” Little did they know that Jesus was purely and lovingly judging them. In fact, if we truly love someone, we have to judge and guide that person to the fullness of truth even in the midst of persecution.
We see this kind of judgment happening within families all the time. Most of the time the judging that happens within families is to help others within the family. We see parents loving and guiding their children pure with judgment. What we have to realize is that before we can judge others, we have to judge ourselves and correct our ways. Otherwise, we would be like wicked hypocrites that persecuted Jesus while boasting about their almighty goodness.
We should follow the perfect example of Jesus to judge rightly, “first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” So yes, we are called to judge! Jesus himself came and “cried out in the temple area as he was teaching…the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true. I know him because I am from him, and he sent me” and encouraged everyone to learn the truth and through their own free will follow truth or continue in their lost ways.
Lastly, we have to be careful when judging because we do not know people’s hearts, but we do know their actions. It is impossible to follow Jesus’ instructions without being “judgmental” of another’s actions. Keep in mind what Jesus told the Jews, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
Richy Orozco is the founder of Catholic Connect with a passion for technology and faith.