Sunday, June 21, 2009

Gospel for Monday, 12th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial: St Paulinus of Nola, Bishop
Optional Memorial: St John Fisher, Bishop, and St Thomas More, Martyrs

From: Matthew 7:1-5

Various Precepts: Do Not Judge
(Jesus said to His disciples,) [1] "Judge not, that you be not judged. [2] For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. [3] Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? [4] Or how can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? [5] You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."
1. Jesus is condemning any rash judgments we make maliciously or carelessly about our brothers' behavior or feelings or motives. "Think badly and you will not be far wrong" is completely at odds with Jesus' teaching.

In speaking of Christian charity St. Paul lists its main features: "Love is patient and kind [...]. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (1 Corinthians 13:4, 5, 7). Therefore, "Never think badly of anyone, not even if the words or conduct of the person in question give you good grounds for doing so" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 442).

"Let us be slow to judge.--Each one sees things from his own point of view, as his mind, with all its limitations, tells him, and through eyes that are often dimmed and clouded by passion" ("ibid"., 451).

1-2. As elsewhere, the verbs in the passive voice ("you will be judged", "the measure you will be given") have God as their subject, even though He is not explicitly mentioned: "Do not judge OTHERS, that you be not judged BY GOD". Clearly the judgment referred to here is always a condemnatory judgment; therefore, if we do not want to be condemned by God, we should never condemn our neighbor. "God measures out according as we measure out and forgives as we forgive, and comes to our rescue with the same tenderness as He sees us having towards others" (Fray Luis de Leon, "Exposicion Del Libro De Job", chapter 29).

3-5. A person whose sight is distorted sees things as deformed, even though in fact they are not deformed. St. Augustine gives this advice: "Try to acquire those virtues which you think your brothers lack, and you will no longer see their defects, because you will not have them yourselves" ("Enarrationes In Psalmos", 30, 2, 7). In this connection, the saying, "A thief thinks that everyone else is a thief" is in line with this teaching of Jesus.

Besides: "To criticize, to destroy, is not difficult; any unskilled laborer knows how to drive his pick into the noble and finely-hewn stone of a cathedral. To construct: that is what requires the skill of a master" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 456).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

No comments: