In today’s gospel, Jesus teaches us that there are three different elements. The first one is about – the blind person leading the blind person; then Jesus speaks about – removing the splinter from your own eye, and then Jesus speaks about – the good tree producing good fruit. These three elements are very much interrelated and we are dealing with them in our everyday lives. The most important thing Jesus is telling us: “Do not judge others based on their appearances or actions without knowing them.”

Let me share with you a small story: Once, there was a young mother, who was traveling on a bus with her 10-year-old boy and the mother saw that the boy was looking through the windows to the outside. The boy suddenly shouted and said, “Mom, look at the trees: they are going behind us.” His Mom smiled! Again, the boy shouted and said, “Mom, look at the clouds: they are running with us.” There was another person in the bus watching and listening to this boy. The man was a little bit irritated; he could not resist and he said to the mother, “Why don’t you take your son to a good doctor?” Then the mother smiled and said to him, “We are coming from a hospital. My son had been blind from birth and he just got his eyesight today.”

This small story reminds us: Never judge someone without knowing the whole story. We may think we understand everything but we do not. Each person has his or her own stories. We should not judge others before we truly know them. The truth might surprise us! In our own human nature, we have a tendency to judge and we make unnecessary comments about other people without knowing the truth. Sometimes, our certain actions and bitter words can cause hurt and pain among family members, in workplaces, and even in the religious communities.

What we see in others is indeed a reflection of what is inside of our lives! It is not good for us to condemn or judge others without any reason. If we are good and clean inside of our lives, we will see good things in others. Let us try to not judge others, especially if we are clouded by jealousy, negativity, or unfulfilled desires. Do not forget that there is a saying, “When you point one finger at another person, there are three fingers pointing back at you.”

Our Pope Francis very often says, “Who am I to judge?” We should admit that we all are sinners, we all have our own limitations and our own brokenness; if we are able to accept this truth, then we will not judge other people. Instead of judging other people, we should accept and respect other people as they are. Maybe the other person does not look like or act the same way we do but we should not reject or mistreat the other person.

The most important thing we can do is to offer to God all our weakness; brokenness, and daily struggles and God will help us. Let us have trust and deep faith in God and then God is in charge of our lives. St. Paul encourages us to bear good fruits by being firm, steadfast, and always devoted to the work of the Lord! Let us remember the words of St. Mother Teresa, “If we are judging another person, we don’t have the time to love the other person.”