Well folks, I’m afraid that today’s Gospel reminds me of another conversation that I had with my Dad (actually, with my Mom too).  I can remember that when I got old enough to do so (whenever that was and whatever that means), I found myself making judgments about people in our parish congregation.  You see, a little bit of real and/or perceived knowledge in the hands of a self-righteous individual with a strong sense of right and wrong can be very dangerous- for others, yes; and for him or herself as well.  Much to my chagrin, I would be punished for saying things about people which were clearly (at least in my mind) known to be true.  Sometimes I would say things to my parents like, “Can you believe that Mr. and Mrs. So and So did this or said that the other day, but there they were in Church looking all holy and everything anyway?”  That kind of talk certainly did not do well with them and I pretty much always paid the price for it.  But they also taught me a lot about, things like how it’s wrong to judge, and that I should only worry about keeping myself on the right path and not whether or not someone else was in the right path in my opinion. My Mom and Dad said things to me like, “Do you think those people are looking at us and saying the same things about us as you are saying about them?,” and“Well I guess that means that Church is only for the good people, and that bad people should not go to Church at all?”  After a while and after many questions and statements like that, I finally got the point that I was neither quite as righteous nor as smart as I thought I was.  Now, I know that it’s tempting for us to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others, especially when we think that we are of a higher stature than someone else. But, please try to remember what Jesus said. He said, “You must be perfected as your Father is perfect.”  Therefore the next time we feel a temptation to compare ourselves to someone else, let’s be sure that we don’t compare ourselves to other people, but to God.

AuthorCathy Remick