Friday, April 6, 2012

Jesus and Billy Joel

So, as I woke up this morning, Bob started talking to me.  My eyes weren't even open, and He had much to say.  I just went to confession last weekend and one of the things I mentioned was that I judge.  I can't help it.  Well, um, apparently, I can.  It's something I really need to work on and Bob reminded me of that on this Good Friday morning.

I have a close group of friends that are like family to me.  I have a wider group of friends that are some of my closest friends.  I have a parish full of friends.  I have friends in other states and other countries.  I have friends who are atheists, who are gay, who are straight, who have had abortions.  I have friends who have been married and divorced.  I have friends who judge.  Basically, all my friends, even the holiest ones that I have, we are all sinners.  Yet, I really don't judge my friends.  I don't hate my friends who have had abortions.  I don't hate my atheists friends.  I don't pass judgement on them.  I love them unconditionally because they are my friends.  No, they weren't always my friends.  We grew in love and in faith.  Even the atheists ones.  I don't judge any of them.  So, why do I judge others?  Bob reminded me this morning that Jesus was friends with tax collectors and sinners.  Now, in no way am I saying I'm like Jesus.  Nope, I'm a sinner too.  But I thought it interesting.  Jesus didn't judge the tax collector or the woman who had an affair.  Why should I?

I've never claimed to be perfect.  Nope.  far from it.  So here's my quandary.  If I don't judge my closest who sin just like everyone else, why do I judge those who are not my friend?  Why do I judge the conotworker who drives me crazy?  And, more importantly, how do I stop?  I like to say "I don't gossip so listen close the first time" lol  but mostly kidding.  How do I not judge the person and just love them?  Jesus calls me to love them, not like them.  Thank God, because that would take more energy than I have to give.  I learned that it's okay not to like some people.  Different personalities and all that.  But I can still love them.  Some are easier than others to love.  But, then again, Jesus never promised it would be easy, He only promised it would be worth it.

And, to tell you the truth, I love hanging out with my friends.  With people.  As someone once said to me (I forget who it was, forgive me, please) "you've never met a stranger".  Which is true.  I consider most everyone a friend.  How can I not?  And, since Jesus is the only perfect person I know, we are all sinners and like Billy Joel said "sinners are much more fun..." in Only the Good Die Young.

Today is Good Friday.  One of my ultimate favorite days of the year.  I love tonight's Mass.  I love the veneration of the cross.  If Jesus can forgive those who betrayed Him, Judas, Peter, those who crucified Him, who am I to judge?

This is one of my very favorite pictures.  It's called forgiven.  You can see the sorrow on the man's face who hammered the nails into Jesus.  Look how limp his body goes when he realizes what he's done?  Now, look at Jesus?  He is not only holding the man, he is holding him up.  He is gripping the man.  Look at Jesus' hands how they are passionately gripping him.  Almost as if they are the only things holding him up.  That is pure love.  That is pure forgiveness.  

So, one day at a time is the way I see it.  Today, I will work on not judging.  I make no promises of being perfect, but I make a promise, that I will try.

Happy Good Friday.

Until next time,
What are you working on today?


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