Monday, XII Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Do not judge, that you may not be judged!

Readings: 1st: 1 Kg 21:1-16; Ps: 60; Gos: Mt 7:1-5

This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico &  Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, cancilleriadfh@gmail.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today is Monday of the twelfth week of ordinary time. Today, Christ calls us to reflect on the way we view and treat others.

However, we must not forget the context of Jesus’ discussion. That is, his critique of the Pharisees, and reinterpretation of Law.

Also, it is important to note that, at times, some of us misinterpret and take advantage of this what Christ said today, just in order to do live the way we want to: “After all, Christ says we should not judge anyone!”

So, one may continue in his bad ways and refuse to be corrected, or may also, completely, overlook evil and say who am I to judge others. Both ways of understanding Christ’s message here is wrong.

After observing how the Pharisees and the Scribes maltreated others by judging them strictly and with impunity, Jesus warned: “Stop judging, that you may not be judged!”

Does this not happen in our society and communities today? Absolutely, yes. We experience it every day and many have already lost their life through unjust judgment against them.

Our society and some of the groups we belong to, are designed for this type of oppression and injustice against the poor and “the weak.”

The poor, and “the weak” are usually marginalized and judged more strictly, and of course, with a completely different standard.

This is what Christ saw and condemned. He is not saying that one must not have a good sense of judgement, or that there should be no judgement of any kind. Rather, he is against systemic and structural injustice as it exists among us even today.

So, before we condemn others, we must make sure we are doing the right thing. Our judgement must not be biased to in order to favor one person, and make life extremely difficult for the other

Remembering that we could be as vulnerable as the one we are judging is empathy. It helps us to see ourselves in the situation of the other. So, it helps us to be merciful and compassionate.

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha!

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