Monday, June 20, 2011

Ow! My eye! (on Matthew 7:1-5)

When I read today's Gospel this morning (Matthew 7:1-5) my first thought was:

Gee! This is EXACTLY what so-and-so, and Madame X, and Mister Z, and What's-His-Name should read...sheesh, they're always judging everybody!

When I heard it at Mass today, I found myself narrowing my focus on Just Whom Exactly I would point this passage out to.

While the priest read on—it's a short passage, which outta give you an idea of how fast my mind was working—I'd made a mental list of folks to contact, which included, but was not limited to:

My Husband (he's always correcting me!)
Some of My Fellow Bloggers (always with the criticisms, sheesh!)
Certain Clients (gee, with what they're paying me, do they expect perfection?)
Many Fellow Parishioners
My Neighbors (okay, okay, we'll get to mowing the bleeping lawn!)
My Own Blog Commenters (especially that guy "Edward" who criticized my profession in my blog on Father Unni...wait, though, parenthetical comment coming up!)

(Edward wrote in the comments box, with tongue no doubt firmly planted in cheek:

Father John,

Please stop celebrating Mass with those in the advertising industry. It is an industry that functions by manipulating your flock into thinking they have needs not met by Jesus and the Church. It is because of the advertising industry that people feel it is more important to consumed material goods than to attend Mass.

We, of course, pray for people like Kelly and understand why she may act upon her economic needs but that is no excuse for doing so. Surely the Church can not be put in position of endorsing the advertising industry by giving communion to those who do such things.

I gotta tell ya, this post cracked me up. It's true...I'm in advertising and spend a great deal of time trying to convince others to spend their hard earned money on things they probably don't need.)

A N Y W A Y...

After the Gospel was proclaimed, the priest—to my utter astonishment—said:

This Gospel tends to make many people I know want to grab their phones and/or send an email or in some way tell people how lousy they are because they judge others.

Naturally, I was flabbergasted. At first. And then—I couldn't help it, honest!—had to muffle my laughter. At myself.

I judge, you judge, all God's children judge.

The point is...we're not supposed to. Yes, it's a spiritual work of mercy to gently, and with much love, try to correct wrongs. But that's a far cry from judging people.

Judging people—in the words of our President—is above our pay grade. (And there I go again!)

Folks, pray for me. Continue to correct me, if I'm wrong. And try very hard not to judge me...and you know what? I'm going to try very hard to do the same.

I have no choice, really. See, I've got this plank in my eye that keeps me from seeing clearly. And only God's grace—and my genuine contrition—will remove it.