Stop judging: Easier said than done!

‘What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.’

That guy over there looks funny.

The woman in the red dress, I bet I know what she is up to.

Who are all these kids? Where are their parents?

Did you read the story about that guy? He must be horrible.

All around us, we see people who look different, act different, worship differently than we do. Does that make them bad?

‘What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.’

Their skin is so much darker than my own.

They have a funny accent.

They worship God, but they call him by a different name!

Who are these people and why are they seeking Jesus?

I thought Jesus was our guy …

‘What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.’

So much judging takes place in the world. It’s hard not to judge. We are human, of course.

But just because we might be wired to be judgmental, even discriminatory against our fellow human beings, does not make it right.

At least that’s what our readings today teach us.

Especially in our first reading, when Peter is spotted entering the home of a Gentile. (One wonders who the gossip was …)

That put him on thin ice with the majority of those present. But not so with God …

 ‘What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.’ 

That went for Peter – back in the day – and it goes for us as well.

Hard lesson to learn.

Especially when that guy over there refuses to pull up his pants. And that woman does nothing but chat on her cell phone when she’s in the line for confession.

Judging comes so easy … embracing someone with different beliefs and customs, well, that can be a bit of a challenge.

And it’s more than just tolerance … and acceptance.

Jesus ate with those considered “unclean” in his day.

What are we to do?

Must we really associate with “those people” …?

Today’s readings seem pretty clear on that point.

Stop judging.

Or be judged, yourself.

‘What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.’

About the Author

Dan McFeely is a Carmel, Indiana, writer, communications business owner, book editor and a former professional journalist at The Indianapolis Star. A "cradle Catholic" who once felt the call to the Priesthood, he is now happily married to his wife, Sue, and enjoys spending time with his three granddaughters (and two cats). For the past decade, Dan has worked as an Adult Faith Formation Minister, currently serving as a spiritual director for the men's and women's Christ Renews His Parish program at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Carmel. He is a graduate of the Ecclesial Lay Ministry program offered by the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana through St. Joseph's College; and has studied theology as a student at Marian University. He previously studied journalism and political science at Indiana University. Currently, Dan loves to read and study the Catholic faith on a daily basis. He is particularly fond of the works of Thomas Merton and modern day scholars and theologians.

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