"Stop judging and you will not be judged." ~ Luke 6:37
"It would be a mistake, I believe, to think our Lord does not want us to make judgments, even though this isolated sentence seems to say so. From the context of the Gospel today, it is quite clear that we are not to condemn others. Our willingness to pardon others is a sign of how much we appreciate being pardoned ourselves. The real issue is mercy and forgiveness, and mercy and forgiveness are meaningful only if we can judge that something is wrong. While we cannot know what the interior disposition of a person is—surely only God can know that—we can make judgments about actions and conditions. For example, Jesus instructed us not to behave like the Pharisees who ‘lord it over others’ and crave honors. He presumes we can judge such a thing.
“None of us can ever assume the role of being a judge over another’s soul or destiny, but all of us are called to be men and women of conscience, and conscience is nothing other than our our own moral judgment. Its primary target, however, is not other people’s behavior, but our own.
~ Fr. John F. Kavanaugh, S.J., from the Lenten devotional booklet, "Follow Me," from Creative Communications. Fr. Kavanaugh's reflections have appeared in America Magazine and in The Word Engaged, Orbis Books, 1997.