Have you ever caught yourself judging someone? It’s a subtle action; we all probably do it more than we would care to admit. Judgment doesn’t always sound like a declaration of character; sometimes it hides behind a phrase like “I wonder…” as in “I wonder why she decided to wear those shoes today” or “I wonder what he did to get in a bind like that.” Or it could lurk behind a word like “probably,” as in “That kid probably doesn’t get enough attention at home.”
We are making judgments all the time. It’s part of the way we are trained to navigate through the world and assess our role in various situations.
But a lot of the time, it goes nowhere, only serving to make us gawking bystanders or making us feel justified in looking to escape unnoticed.
In today’s Gospel, the apostles ask Jesus, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
Jesus answers, "Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.”
Jesus then proceeds to take action. He heals the man (on the Sabbath, no less).
From this Gospel we can take away two lessons:
1) The suffering, the debacles, the “mistakes” visited upon us and our fellow humans should not be seen so much as something they “deserved,” but as an opportunity to view them compassionately and to take action.
2) This compassionate response is an opening to the work of God, who employs us to be his hands and eyes and feet on Earth. Does this mean you need to jump into every situation that’s none of your business? Not necessarily. But one action anyone can take is to send an earnest prayer to heaven upon any suffering individual’s behalf. Even if the prayer is something along the lines of, “Lord, I do not have the capability to help that person, but please send someone who can.”