“Take the beam out of your own eye first.”
Jesus today invites us not to judge others. He warns us that judgement we give we will receive back. In a sense, Jesus knows that when we are caught up in judging others it is usually a matter that personally affects us as well. So, like Venerable Fulton Sheen has said “only the innocent may judge”. If we are not innocent do not judge as we only leave ourselves open to God’s true and just judgement of us.
In today’s prayer we can reflect on whether we judge others harshly or rashly (without evidence). Do I have a tenedency to judge the virtue, behaviour or character of my brothers and sisters in a negative way? Am I aware of the “log” or “beam” that is in my eye which can affect the way I see and judge other people? What is this “log” or “beam” that can make me concern myself with the judgement or desire to “fix” the “speck” in the eyes of my brothers and sisters? How can I begin today to acknowledge and start the process of removing this log, this beam so I can see clearly again with freedom?
If we judge others with kindness and generosity, we should also acknowledge this too, and give thanks to God. Not all judgements are bad either – prudent judgements which relate to our safety or maintaining our Christian way of life are sometimes necessary. But let us put our judgements before God and ask Him to help us to be innocent and see the good in others as God sees us and our brothers and sisters!