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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Judging to save face

"You judge by appearances, but I do not judge anyone." Jn 8:15

It is so difficult not to judge by appearances. An athlete with more tattoos than anyone can count or decipher invites criticism, even if most of his tattoos have a religious theme. Somehow the grandiosity of a hundred tattoos bothers many "adults."

It can also be unnerving to see actors and actresses dressed so outrageously that we dismiss them as exhibitionists even when they are engaged in good works around the world. Somehow it is easier to criticize the rich and famous than to look at our own behavior.

Regularly under attack by the leaders of the Jewish community who fear the loss of their own power and influence, Jesus warns the Pharisees neither to judge by appearances nor to lay heavy burdens on people without doing anything to help them.

In response to Jesus sharp rebukes, the Pharisees try to make Jesus the proverbial scapegoat. Ashamed of their of their small minded and dismissive behavior, they want to lay all their problems on Jesus' back and send him out into the desert, but this easy solution becomes their undoing and ours.

Today, take a second look at anyone you are tempted to judge.

What most bothers you about the appearance of others?

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