Tuesday of the 22nd Week of Ordinary Time photo-quote
Today's Inspirational Snippet: Only God has the authority to judge, for only God is free of sin.

Good News Reflection
Tuesday of the 22nd Week of Ordinary Time
September 2, 2014

Today’s Readings:

1 Corinthians 2:10b-16
Psalm 145:8-14
Luke 4:31-37
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

The difference between judging and judgmentalism

What's the difference between scrutinizing everything (as in today’s first reading) and being judgmental, which, as we know, Jesus firmly described as a sin? St. Paul says here that "the one who is spiritual can judge everything."

The difference is between a what and a who. In observing a what – a situation, an idea, a behavior – the Holy Spirit scrutinizes it, and if we're listening to God, we hear his opinion about it. But how do we know we're not listening to our own opinions, which can be biased because of our limited perceptions and which have been trained by the limited perspectives of others and the foolishness of the world?

A good relationship with the Holy Spirit is essential for good listening. The more we rely on Jesus, trusting him more than we trust ourselves, the more open our spirits are to the promptings of his Spirit.

In observing a who, we err whenever we make conclusions, because we do not fully know the other’s heart and motive and level of accountability – only God does; only God can be Judge. We can correctly identify when people are sinning, but we can only make assumptions about why, how much they understand, and how much they can be held accountable. Assumptions can never be trusted.

Even when our assumptions are correct, we're not free to judge the sinner, because a judge is one who has the authority to impose sentence. Only God has that authority, for only God is free of sin. Remember what Jesus told the guys who wanted to stone the adulterous woman: Who can cast the first stone?

Today’s responsorial Psalm tells us how God serves as Judge (are we like this?): gracious and merciful, slow to anger, great in kindness, good to the sinner, etc. We're quick to condemn. We get frustrated when people don't get the punishment they deserve. And yet, how grateful we are that God does not condemn us so quickly! Ahhh, the sin of hypocrisy rears its ugly face. Judgmentalism leads to one sin after another.

As Christians who are devoted to uniting ourselves to Christ, we have the mind of Christ, but let's remember what is uppermost in Christ's mind: "I did not come to the world to condemn it, but to save it." We become obstacles in his way when we judge people. Redemption and justice only occur when we let Jesus decide how to make good come from every evil.

And by the way, you are a "who" too, so quit condemning yourself! Turn instead to God's mercy and let Jesus redeem you from whatever you've done wrong.
© 2014 by Terry A. Modica; All Rights Reserved.
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News - Good News Ministries In this issue of Insider's View:
• Open the door to God's abundance
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Open the door to God's abundance

Living in God's Abundance photobook

We think we know what we want, but God wants more for us than that. We think we know what's best for us, but God has something even better in mind – far better.

With our small imaginations, we plan and picture and strive to possess what we think will make us happy. God's imagination is limitless, and yet we often think that what He wants is contrary to what would make us happy. So, with our puny minds and hugely self-benefitting prejudices about what should be right and what should be wrong, we rationalize that what is immoral is really morally okay and we spin our own interpretations onto what Scripture tells us is the best way to live.

This is not just the "why" of sin; it is also the reason why we close ourselves off from God's abundance. God's abundant goodness, God's abundant generosity, and God's abundant love are not as available to us as He would like them to be, because we insist on protecting and maintaining  our small view of the Truth.

To open up to the greater goodness of God, we have to dare to break through the walls of the little world we've been trying to protect, the world of our own making that holds within it the lesser life that we created for ourselves. Like a blossoming bud, we have to allow the light of truth to change us.

New eBook!

That short reflection is the theme and purpose of my newest digital flipbook of reflections and photos, Living in God's Abundance. It's not a book about having an abundance of stuff, as if God were our personal Santa Claus. It's a book about opening ourselves to the "more" that God wants for us, more of whatever goodness he wants to give us.

It's free, just click the link above and fill out the form you'll find on our website. Of course, any donation toward my ministry, as a thank-you for this book, will be hugely appreciated and very helpful.

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I'm praying for you:

Thank you for reading this newsletter. Every morning, I lift up in prayer all those who help Good News Ministries in any way (donors, volunteers, prayer supporters, etc.) and all the prayer requests posted on our site. May God's grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:2)

Terry ModicaYour servant in Christ,
Terry Modica
Executive Director
Good News Ministries

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