Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide,
but he shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide aright for the land’s afflicted. (Is 11:3b-4a)
We judge so many people rather quickly.
When we see someone dressed in shabby clothes on the streets, we tend to think to ourselves, “Bum. Why doesn’t that person find a job?” We do not even know who that person is. He, or she, may be a millionaire but, for all intents and purposes on our part, we think, “Bum.”
When we see someone horribly disfigured, we tend to think to ourselves, “Wretched. How horrible.” We do not even know how that person was disfigured. That person may be a hero from a war or fighting a fire. However, all we can think about is getting away as quickly as possible.
When we see someone dying in a hospital bed or nursing home or hospice unit, we tend to dwell upon the reality of our own death. That person in front of us, a vivid reminder of our own mortality, is often shunned by us because we cannot bear to face the fact that we shall die as well.
In short, when we see people, we tend to judge by our own human standards rather than by God’s.
When God looks at us, however, He looks through our exterior and directly into our souls.
He sees the real person in each of us. And, seeing that real person, He then judges what He sees.
In what condition is our soul? Is it something pleasing to God? Or, have we corrupted it, cheapened it, bruised it?
Today is the Second Sunday of Advent. We have already used up one week of the season. If we have not used it as diligently as possible, let this be a reminder to be serious about our preparation for Christmas.
God will, indeed, judge all of His people. We, in turn, are reminded to use this Advent season as wisely as possible so that God may smile upon us when He looks at us.
FAITH ACTION: Have we been judging someone or others harshly, without really giving them a chance to show us who they are inside? Take time to get to know someone you may have been excluding.