"You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, 'You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.' But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment"
How often do we judge? I catch myself doing this every day. Some days it's not so much, but other days, when I'm idle, my thoughts take me to places of judgment and condemnation that are not spiritually healthy. Now I haven't done anything recently verbally or otherwise against 'my brother,' but nonetheless I've come to a conclusion about them that causes stress, resentment, anger, etc. Almost weekly we see road rage incidents on the news. Some one accidently cuts someone off and the other driver goes crazy and it leads to ugly situations. We've seen race relations in our country deteriorate because people judge others motives. We've seen first responders put in difficult situations in dealing with the public. Confronting your fellow man can be nerve wracking sometimes. We all have seen it or experienced it. This is especially apparent in our social media and op-ed pieces. These all lead us down a road we don't need to go. Jesus knows this.
Back in Jesus's time, the Sanhedrin, Pharisees, Sadducees and others were the authority of the law. But Jesus comes in and says not only do your actions condemn, but so do your thoughts and emotions. He's trying to teach us that temptations lead to poor actions. God is the supreme judge, not us. We are called to reflect on our actions and turn from judgmental thoughts and verbal attacks. We need patience. Instead of thinking of the worst motives, we should come in positive or at least neutral and non-judgmental. This is where the sacrament of reconciliation and chapel meditation comes into play. Take some time this week, even 10 minutes to sit in the chapel, ask Jesus into your heart and listen to what he tells you. Ask him for forgiveness and a new start.