We tend to judge those, that don’t follow the rules, and violate the law. We tend to judge others, that don’t look, speak, or behave like us. We tend to judge others that pray, dress, or act differently in church. When we judge, we forget that Jesus came to call sinners…and, if we are honest with ourselves, we will admit, that we, too, are sinners; and we, too, thank God…every time he forgives us. There’s a story about a person, who found himself, among a group of men, sharing stories…several stated, that they used to physically abuse their wives and children. He could not believe that these guys he knew, could possibly do such a thing, and he thought to himself…Lord, thank you for the grace, to have not been drawn to that level. At that very moment, he came to understand, that with that thought, he was judging his brothers, and he immediately confessed, that his sin was greater than theirs, because he was boasting of his sin-less-ness. He came to realize, that he would be judged as he judged--true story…my story…it can be anyone’s story.
Jesus finds a way to point out the realities of our shortcomings, just like he did with the Pharisee, who was judging the woman, displaying much love to Jesus…washing his feet with her tears, and anointing them with perfume. Yes, the woman was a sinner, but she knew that Jesus would forgive her…and he did, because of the faith she had. The Pharisee did not believe he was a sinner…he failed to show Jesus, even the most common courtesies of the time, such as providing him water to wash the dust of his feet, or grant him a welcome kiss, when he entered his house. We’re able to show much love to Jesus, only when we believe, there is much for which, we need to be forgiven. The woman he forgave is believed became his follower, and one of his best friends. She continued to show her love in different ways, spending as much time as she could, in his presence. When we love someone, we want to spend time with them. There was a family in my hometown, that every Sunday after Holy Mass, spent the rest of the day visiting all their relatives and friends, simply because they enjoyed being with them…to spend time recounting the events of the week…offering help wherever needed. And, what grandparent among us, doesn’t like it, when their grandchildren visit…what parent among us, doesn’t like it, when their sons and daughters come over, or at least call? None of us can say that it doesn’t fill our hearts with love, and puts a great big smile on our face, when we see those we love and cherish. We don’t have it in our hearts to judge those we love…that’s why God wants us to love everybody. We may not like our loved-one’s behavior sometimes, but that doesn’t mean we stop loving them…wanting to do everything we possibly can, to help them. God is no different…he’s our model.
God sent Jesus to heal those of us who have disobeyed him, and are sorry. He loves us so much, that he continues to forgive us, and answer our prayers. He loves us--for walking with Jesus--to beg him, to never let us be separated from him. He loves to hear us ask him to send us the Holy Spirit. We put a smile on his face, when we thirst to hear his Word…when we want to learn, what it means for our daily lives. He loves it, when we stop criticizing and believing that we are always right--that we have all the answers. Most of all, he likes, when we ask the Holy Spirit to transform us…to be more open, inviting, forgiving; to reveal to us the understanding…that every time we are mean, angry, and judgmental of a brother or sister, we are, in a very real sense, doing it to Jesus.
There’s no doubt, that Jesus loves to spend time with us…to gaze upon us. He likes to see us before the Most Holy Sacrament, in the adoration chapel. But, the truth is; that we also spend time with him, when we are present to each other…at those moments, we’re spending time with the Jesus present in our souls…so that in our hearts, we can say to one another…the Jesus in me…greets the Jesus in you.