The Message and the Messenger

Luke 4:16-30

According to an article that came out not too long ago, the top 5 endorsers in the Philippines are:
5. Sarah Geronimo, 4. Anne Curtis, 3. Angel Locsin, 2. Xian Lim, 1. Kim Chiu

They are the top endorsers because people listen to them. When they say this product is good, people believe; when they say that they themselves use and benefit from the product, people believe; when they say buy this product, people believe and will buy.

Once I blessed a store that sells purely bags. Since I am not really a shopper I decided to ask the manager how is the sale of the bags. Her response, “Since Kris Aquino started endorsing the bag, sales skyrocketed.” In other words, when people like the messenger, they will listen to the message.

In Luke’s Gospel, it was the opposite that happened. Since they did not believe that Jesus as a credible messenger, they did not listen his message. In other words, because they have judged Jesus, they were not able to recognize Christ in their midst.

Three reflections on judging.

  1. All of us are children of God, hence we can all be used as God’s messenger. How many times have we shot down a message because we did not like the messenger? We are then humbled at a later time because the messenger was right after all.
  2. Often when we judge, it is our own biases that we use. A study made by Psychology Today says that appearance places a huge role in first impressions: the clothes, the color of the skin, the height, the confidence one projects himself or herself. People tend to listen to those who appear “good”. 
  3. We should be rigorous in judging ourselves and not others. We do not know the whole story when it comes to others, so how can we judge? Yet, often we do not want to judge ourselves because of our own skeletons in the closet. 

In Mass, remember two things about judging:

First, St. Mother Teresa once said, that when we judge, we don’t have time to love people. And when we do not love, we do not recognize God in our midst. 

Lastly, the only judgment that matters is that of God. In the end we will have to account how we have used the time, talent, and treasure he has lent us.

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