Jesus said to his disciples:
“Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’
while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”
Whenever we encounter bumps along the road in our daily lives, we often find an instinct to blame someone else for the problem. it is always easier to point fingers at others instead of owning up to our share of responsibility or simply fixing the issue without dwelling on who is to blame. We can get worked up over how others have wronged us while at the same time expecting to be given some slack when we make mistakes ourselves. We can fail to see how these are two sides of the same coin, that if we ask mercy for ourselves, we must show it to others. When we point fingers instead and focus on our neighbor’s guilt, we are acting out of fear—fear that we will face undue consequences for actions that weren’t our fault, fear that we will be found out as the wretched, flawed sinners that we are.
We are capable of following in the footsteps of Our Lord and accepting our crosses, of laying the burden of guilt on our own shoulders instead of trying to pass it off to someone else. We are capable of seeing each other as members of the same Body, not in competition with each other but rather supporting one another. We are capable of building each other up in our weakness instead of tearing each other down. Let us ask for the grace to be humble and courageous, patiently bearing the weight of our daily sufferings.
Image: Carl Heinrich Bloch, The Sermon on the Mount / PD-US