WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE?
First Reading: 2Kings 17:5-8,13-15,18
Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 59(60):3-5,12-13
Gospel Reading: Matthew 7:1-5
That we are easily tempted to judge others is an attestation that we live in a kind of a judgemental milieu. When a notable sinner dies, for instance, many are quick to conclude or stand in the place of God to judge that he/she has already gone to hell without even considering the possibility of repentance at the moment of death. Likewise, when someone falls, ‘we’ are quick to make criticisms and judge that person, as if he were the worst sinner and ‘we’ ourselves cannot fall. We all understand that it is easier to criticize the players at a game as a viewer as if we could do better when given the opportunity to get into the pitch and play the game. Today’s liturgy calls us to avoid passing judgement and leave it for God alone.
The gospel teaches us not to judge others, leaving such a task for God alone. This admonishment reflects on the way of life of the Pharisees and Scribes of Jesus’ time, who proudly thought themselves different from others, and even superiors. They criticized the actions of others and refuse to take note of the selfishness and pride that filled their hearts, the heavy beam that separated them from others, and from God. As a result, Christ instructs his disciples not to be like them, because when we judge others, we open ourselves to God’s judgements: “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; because the judgements you give are the judgements you will get, and the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given.” Our concern in relation to others in this context should be to help them and pray for them. Only God, who knows how to search the heart, can condemn or justify someone. Likewise, the catastrophe of the tribes of the northern kingdom as we read in the first reading is a consequence of God’s judgment, motivated by infidelity to the Covenant, despite repeated warnings from the prophets. We must, therefore, fear the judgment of God.
Dear friends in Christ, when we begin to judge others, we easily sin. Whenever someone falls, we should learn to apply the situation to our very selves and understand that it is an error that could possibly happen to any of us at any given time because we are all imperfect. Hence, it is better to concentrate on removing the plank in our eyes than trying to remove the splinter in the eyes of others all the time. If we have the language of criticism and judgement towards others, we must have twice as much to pray for them and concentrate better on ourselves.
© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Fatima, Vila Sabrina, São Paulo, Brazil
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