Sunday Gospel reflections: We should judge ourselves before we judge others

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

"The Exhortation to the Apostles" by Jacques Joseph Tissot (1836–1902). Photo: Public Domain
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All too often now we hear the immortal words of our Savior “judge not” used as an effort to stop the Christian from stating what is moral or immoral. It is as though our Lord had commanded us to be indifferent to the actions of others. This is of course in complete contrast to the entire point of his ministry, which was to show man what was wicked, to remind us of the moral law of the Father, and to show us the path to salvation through his sacrifice upon the cross. We could not be adequately shown what is right without being told what is wrong.

Rather, the commandment of Christ is much greater than this. The Christian must be able to identify that which is evil in our everyday lives, both the wickedness which surrounds us, and the sins which we commit. Rather than a warning about casting any moral judgement upon another, it is a warning against perceiving ourselves as superior to anyone else, for the stain of sin contaminates us all and is an ever-present threat.

Before we can work to the betterment of the world, before we can show others the errors of sin and the salvific powers of Christ, we must do all in our power to purge ourselves of our own sinful ills. Only when this has been done can we hope to lead others away from sin. Until that time, we are unfit to condemn, when we ourselves are worthy of condemnation.

— Sean Sullivan


Readings:

1 Samuel 26:2, 7–9, 12–13, 22–23

Psalm 103:1–2, 3–4, 8, 10, 12–13

1 Corinthians 15:45–49

Luke 6:27–38

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