8 June, Wednesday – Pointing the way or simply pointing fingers?

Wednesday of Week 10 in Ordinary Time

1 Kgs 18:20-39
Mt 5:17-19

How long do you mean to hobble first on one leg then on the other?

This scripture reading has always filled my imagination with pictures of the greatness of God. The fire raining down and devouring all that is Baal. And that is a picture I see in my mind every time something truly tragic, truly evil at the hands of man, happens in the world. It brings me great consolation in knowing that our God will be the victor – that at some point EVERY KNEE WILL BEND and EVERY TONGUE WILL CONFESS that Jesus Christ is Lord. Finally, a time when EVERYONE who is, who was and who will be, WILL KNOW the fullness of the truth of God.

Today as I read this and envision the scene – and smugly judge those who weren’t on the side of Elijah believing in God – I realize that I straddle the issue time and time again. The issue of judging others while professing to be a follower of Jesus. And let’s be clear, judgement usually has a condescending tone.

If we truly are believers, wouldn’t our thoughts, words and actions emulate Christ? Wouldn’t we be people of compassion, people able to separate the sin from the sinner? People always pointing out the way to Christ, instead of pointing a finger to bring focus to inadequacies and sin in others?

I want to be – I am – on God’s side, yet I desire others to get their JUST punishment, then pray for mercy for myself. I don’t want what I justly deserve. I sit in a place of judgement and self-righteousness often. That seat is formed to my body. And yet, I pray for humility every morning. And then, on a daily basis, I judge others (oftentimes just to myself). I judge those I know and those I see on TV or social media. A voice near me affirms that it is okay for me to rightly judge since I am, after all, a good Catholic believer. Of course that is the voice of the world, the voice of the Father of lies. And yet, I judge daily and every night I review my day and ask that I not be judged.

Time and time again, I pray for the humility of St. Therese of Lisieux as I sit in judgement of others. St. Therese focused on humility in her prayers and denied herself even the right to correct someone’s wrong assumptions about her.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Gina Ulicny)

Prayer: Father, I ask that You show me how to look only at You and me so that I don’t stand in judgement of others. I ask for mercy and forgiveness in the moments that I judge others and the instant realisation that it is my place to show compassion and the love of Christ; nothing more.

Thanksgiving: Father God, thank you for the Prayer of Humility. Help me pray these words slowly with conviction, so that I may emulate St. Therese and our Blessed Mother.

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