Don’t judge me man! I’ve haven’t heard that line since my last post. I’m going to use today as a “cheat” day and post for you some other thoughts on this. First, the footnotes that offer a little more clarity on our Gospel this morning and then the beautiful thoughts of Bishop Barren.
* [7:1–12] In Mt 7:1 Matthew returns to the basic traditional material of the sermon (Lk 6:37–38, 41–42). The governing thought is the correspondence between conduct toward one’s fellows and God’s conduct toward the one so acting.
* [7:1] This is not a prohibition against recognizing the faults of others, which would be hardly compatible with Mt 7:5, 6 but against passing judgment in a spirit of arrogance, forgetful of one’s own faults.
* [7:5] Hypocrite: the designation previously given to the scribes and Pharisees is here given to the Christian disciple who is concerned with the faults of another and ignores his own more serious offenses.
From Bishop Barren’s daily post…
Friends, Jesus’ parable in today’s Gospel is one of the most psychologically and spiritually insightful remarks in the New Testament. Let’s face it: a favorite pastime of most human beings is criticism of others.
We delight in pointing out the shortcomings, moral failings, and annoying tendencies of our neighbors. This is, of course, a function of pride and egotism: the more I put someone else down, the more elevated I feel.
But it is also, oddly, a magnificent means of turning a mirror on ourselves, to see what usually remains unseen. Why, we ought to ask, do we find precisely this sin of others particularly annoying? Why does that trait or sin of a confrere especially gall us?
Undoubtedly, Jesus implies, because it reminds us of a similar failing in ourselves. I remember a retreat director asking each of us to call to mind a person that we found hard to take and then to recount in detail the characteristics that made the person so obnoxious to us. Then he recommended that we go back to our room and ask God to forgive those same faults in ourselves. His words were as unnerving and as illuminating as these words of Jesus.
Do something great for the Lord today – remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.
Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.
But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Compete well for the faith.
Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your holy will which is Love and Mercy itself.