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September 7, 2015

The good news for today:

Several educated people and religious leaders were watching him carefully to see whether he would cure somebody on the Sabbath—so that they might find some pretext to accuse Him. (Luke 6)

This is a mindset we all have, a readiness that lurks in your soul: we are waiting to accuse or find fault. We all have it. Adults, we live knowing that all of us grow up with rules that permeate our culture, our expectations and our daily behavior. We notice when someone breaks the rules. We mention clothes police (“White socks”!), grammar police (“it’s” and “its’”), or “political correctness.” We instinctively judge someone who breaks these social rules.

Of course, for these things we get accused—blamed—by others—with a tone of voice, a rolled eyeball, a silence, or a blast of anger.

The follower of Jesus admits this tendency to play “gotcha,” to feel superior—and to be blamed as well. But you shift away from your superiority, recalling your equality, your deep-down sameness, and your own human flaws.

In this Gospel story of a man whose crippled hand is healed on the Sabbath, you see yourself mirrored. On the one hand, with Jesus you do what ‘s right, no matter who blames you. On the other hand, you do not accuse others, not having walked in their shoes. “Who am I to judge,” the Pope said casually, “if someone is sincerely seeking salvation.” You see faults, but you refrain from judging; you see imperfection, but you refrain from accusing; you may see outright sin, but you refrain from playing God. Only God knows and judges.

Your Good News is your freedom—neither to judge others nor let others’ judgments of you make any difference. You are free!

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