Today’s Thoughts: I have decided I am glad that cell phones, computers and social media came along long after I was out of college and at a time when I hope I am wiser in how I respond to things that happen around me. Often when I am reading through Twitter, Facebook or the comments people post after an article that I have read online I want to respond to something someone has said. Most of the time I do not want to respond with a positive comment, I want to judge, condemn, make fun of or show the person the error of their ways. I want to be negative. It is very easy to do after all it is just words and there is no way other than words for the person to respond. I do not have to look at them or be in the same room with them. I can just hide behind my computer, iPad, or cell phone. No risk involved and certainly no responsibility.
If I had these opportunities in high school, college or my early years as a young adult I am pretty sure my self-control would not have been as good as it is today. I would have thrown my opinion into the cyber mix often with no thought of who it might hurt or of the consequences that my words, my criticism, my negativity might have on others and myself.
In the Gospel today, Jesus reminds us to be people who don't judge, who don't condemn. We are asked to be people of mercy and forgiveness. People who somehow find the good in others and work at letting that goodness shine.
It is very easy to have a knee jerk reaction to something someone says especially if it is not along the lines of the things we believe or value. It is very easy to be critical especially when we do not walk in the shoes of the person we are criticizing. It is very easy to point the finger of blame. It is very easy to condemn, to judge and to be self-righteous, especially when we have nothing to lose because we are sitting behind a computer not in front of the person we have just judged, just condemned by our words.
Throughout this season of Lent, we look for forgiveness for our sinfulness, we fast, we pray, we give up things, we do good works all in the hope that God will be merciful and forgiving. In the living of Lent, we hope for a life, for a world that is more positive, peaceful and God centered. Today Jesus asks us not to be passive disciples who sit and listen, but active workers for the Kingdom. We can start by living our lives as merciful, forgiving loving people. People, who do not judge, do not condemn, do not tear down with our words but people who build up. People who help to build the peaceable Kingdom of God!
Have a blessed Monday everyone.
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...