JUNE 21. Ord Time. B. Wk 12. Mon. Mt. 7. 1-5
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘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. Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own? How dare you say to your brother, “Let me take the splinter out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.’
Christ has this remarkable ability to teach important doctrine in extremely simple terms. For one to fully understand St. Paul’s teachings for example, one has to almost have an academic background; - with a knowledge of the history and customs of the time.
The teachings of Christ on the other hand are very different. By far the majority of them are easily understood by a primary age child. What this means is that at times his teachings can make us extremely uncomfortable; - as they address practices we do not like to admit to; - and today’s teaching is a good example.
Christ is highlighting an inclination we all have; - but which we rarely acknowledge; - namely the practice of judging others!
The reason this is such an important issue is it distracts Christ’s followers from their most important responsibility; - the amendment of their own lives!
And, as is made very clear in today’s Gospel, judging others also becomes an obstacle to our practicing one of Christ’s fundamental teachings; - showing both mercy and compassion towards others!
What Christ is teaching us today is that, when our time on this earth comes to an end, all of us are going to be in need of Divine Mercy; - as we are all sinners.
He is pointing out that if his followers do not show mercy and compassion to others then then should not expect mercy and compassion when they appear before him at the final judgement!
And this is the reason the teaching is so important; - if we expect mercy and compassion from God; - we have to give mercy and compassion to others!
Few of us would disagree it is much easier to “see” the failings of others than to see our own; - but the real reason we engage in this practice is because we often do not want to see our own failings; - a truth we rarely admit to; - even to ourselves!
And this is the reason Christ highlighted the need for mercy; - because it is the centrepiece of Love; - so if we do not show love and mercy; - we should not expect to receive love and mercy!
“Do not judge; - and you will not be judged!” – “The amount you measure out is the amount you will be given!” – “Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own?” – “Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first!”
How many of us will be able to plead “not guilty” when it comes to the judging of others?
Gospel Acclamation Heb4:12
The word of God is living and active:
it probes the thoughts and motives of our heart.