It can be easy to criticize. Someone eats too much, drinks sloppily, drives too fast, talks too much or is harshly critical of others, are all reasons for standing in judgment of others. More important it allows us not to look at ourselves or the changes we need to make in order to live the Gospel life for fully.
Practicing the Good News by asking for the grace to see others with God's eyes is an important habit to develop, and Jesus offers us many wonderful examples of this. From the man who had no one to bring him to the pool (John 5:7) to the woman who touches the hem of his garment (Mk 5:27) hoping the Lord will cure her, we see Jesus responding to people in pain and isolation not as sinners but as children of God needing a sign of understanding and compassion. Rather than judge them or their parents harshly, Jesus holds them up as people who keep seeking God and God's mercy despite the harsh judgment of others.
At the same time, seeing with God's eyes does not mean we are free to ignore our own faults and sins. Rather, we must continually seek transformation, not to prove to God or others that we are worthy of God's mercy, but for God's glory. There is little more impressive to others than the simple witness of a transformed life. When we recognize God's power at work in us and live with joy and gratitude, we invite others to know the compassion of God.
Today, ask for mercy towards yourself and others.
Which faults in yourself and others do you judge most harshly?