Oh the Hypocrisy of it all!

 A couple of weeks ago there was a family sitting behind us in church.  A couple of parents and a couple of teenage-looking kids.  One of the kids was wearing a mask and the parents were not.

My first thought, from my masked-family perspective was that the teenager had more brains than the parents.  My judgy nature led me to assume that the parents were somehow those people who refused to cooperate, who were, for some reason, being defiant.

Oh admit it, you’ve done the same thing.  Of course we shouldn’t be judging people, especially in church, but sometimes those thoughts pop into your head uninvited.

So anyway, the other day, as my family got out of our car to go into Mass, my husband realized that he had forgotten to bring a mask.  Me, too.  Our son was the only one that remembered his.

We scrounged around the car and found a couple of masks, so we were good to go. 

As I was trying to put on my disposable mask, the string broke.  There we stood in the parking lot considering our options.  Clearly I would have to enter church without a mask.  I knew we would be appropriately social distanced, and I hoped my present state of being antibody-rich would protect me and others as well, but to my chagrin, I would have to live with my great faux pas.

Never was I more acutely aware of everyone else’s mask than I was that night.  I really was the only one without one, I am sure.

Never was I more acutely aware of the innocent situations that can cause someone to go against today’s social norm of wearing a mask, by personally showing up in church without one myself.

I thought of the family I had so freely judged a few weeks before.

Naturally, I do not expect that their mask-less presence in church occurred under the same circumstances as mine—of course not!—but how would I know?  The truth is, we really can’t know why people do what they do, can we?

Maybe they had health problems.  Maybe they did forget their masks at home and were sitting there as self-conscious as I was. Maybe they were strong QAnon activists and came to Mass just to make a point.

Who knows? 

But here’s my point.  I am in full support of wearing masks.  I think to not do so, without good reason, is ridiculous.  Find another principle to stand on, okay?  Why wouldn’t each one of us do everything we can to help each other out? 

Wearing a mask seems so simple, so kind, so selfless, doesn’t it?  We should be long past debating about masks. 

But what we should be paying more attention to is how quickly, how easily, and how unfairly we judge others.  As scripture says, we should be careful not to be so quick to notice the “splinter” in our brother’s eye while missing the “wooden beam” in our own.

Jesus warns us of the hypocrisy of our actions and the danger of being judged one day by the measure we judge others.

All I’m saying is, be careful.  Be aware of your own faults before you go picking at other people.

Janet Cassidy




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