The first verse of Psalm 1 asks “O Lord, who will dwell in your tent and reside on your holy mount?” In other words, it is asking God “Who deserves to be in your presence?” In the first reading, Paul writes that he certainly did not deserve to be in the presence of the Lord nor be in His service because he was “a blasphemer, a persecutor and a rabid enemy”; but, Jesus had mercy on him and changed his heart on the road to Damascus. Jesus gifted him with faith and love, making him trustworthy to be in his service. The same theme can be seen in today’s gospel. A disciple of Jesus is one “who is not above the master, but when fully trained, he will be like his master.” As true disciples, we are to behave like our Master. We are to conform our hearts to the heart of Jesus who is not critical of us and accepts us as sinners. Jesus encourages us to look into ourselves instead of judging those around us. So that we may follow his teachings more closely, we need his grace and his strength, as Paul says. We cannot do this on our own but only through God’s gracious permission. We pray that one day, our character may mirror that of Jesus.

When was the last time I judged someone? What changes can I make in my behavior today through the help of Jesus? Can I entrust myself to Jesus to shape my character according to his wishes?