Jesus said to his disciples, «Do not judge and you will not be judged. In the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and the measure you use for others will be used for you. Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye and not see the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother: ‘Come, let me take the speck from your eye’, as long as that plank is in your own? Hypocrite, take first the plank out of your own eye, then you will see clear enough to take the speck out of your brother's eye».
No one can live without discernment and making some sort of judgement. Judgement is the final product of discernment and decision making. It’s here we are called to know thyself and this self-knowledge will help us to understand others. Many of us jump in our decision and judgement, without following proper process of discernment. Jesus is inviting us to follow this process of discernment and come to a conclusion. It’s in this process of discernment we will discover our own limits and strengths which will help us to understand others. Once we understand others as they are, we will find that there is nothing from our part to judge them and ignore them. We will find them just like us and we will try in our limited capacity to learn and to understand them. It is here that we find the encounter of the humanity. Once we discover this humanity in others, we will be able to translate this humanity into divinity.
Let me explain this to you in detail. Though it looks impossible for us, it is possible, only if we put God at the centre of our thinking and doing. Once God is centre in our words and engagements, we will discover the miracle of us becoming instruments in the hand of God to save others. It is here that the other discover God in us and we discover the same God in them. Thus every human encounter is transformed into a divine encounter. Here there is no question of judgement, to point the fingers, rather a call to become saints though our humanity. Have a wonderful day.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
Judge from justice, forgive from grace,
by Ephrem the Syrian, 306-373 A.D.
"Do not judge, that is, unjustly, so that you may not be judged, with regard to injustice. With the judgment that you judge shall you be judged (Matthew 7:2). This is like the phrase 'Forgive, and it will be forgiven you.' For once someone has judged in accordance with justice, he should forgive in accordance with grace, so that when he himself is judged in accordance with justice, he may be worthy of forgiveness through grace. Alternatively, it was on account of the judges, those who seek vengeance for themselves, that he said, 'Do not condemn.' That is, do not seek vengeance for yourselves. Or, do not judge, from appearances and opinion and then condemn, but admonish and advise." (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON TATIAN’S DIATESSARON 6.18B)
«In the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and the measure you use for others will be used for you»
Fr. Jordi POU i Sabater
(Sant Jordi Desvalls, Girona, Spain)
Today, the Gospel has reminded me of the Marshalling's words in Der Rosenkavalier, by Hugo von Hofmansthal: «The big difference lies upon the “how”». In many aspects of our life —particularly our spiritual life— the end result will change, depending upon “how” we do something.
Jesus said: «Do not judge and you will not be judged» (Mt 7:1). But Jesus had also said that we are to correct our sinful brother, and to do that we have got to previously make some kind of judgment. In his writings, St. Paul does judge the Corinthian community and St. Peter condemns Ananias and his wife Sapphira for falsehood. Because of that, St. John Crisostom explains: «Jesus is not saying we cannot prevent a sinner from sinning; we have to correct him, indeed, though not as the enemy seeking revenge but, rather, as a doctor applying the cure». It seems, therefore, our judgment should be mostly made with an aim to mend, not to take revenge.
But what St. Augustine says is even more interesting: «The Lord prevents us from judging quickly and unfairly (...). We should first ponder whether we have not made a similar sin; let us remember we are fragile, and let us always [judge] with the intention of serving God and not ourselves». If, when we see our brothers' sins we remember our own, it will not happen to us, as the Gospel says, that with a plank in our eyes we try to take the speck out of our brother's eye (cf. Mt 7:3).
If we are well prepared, we shall see the good and bad things in our fellow men, and almost unconsciously we shall form a judgment. But to look at others' faults from that point of view will help us as to the way “how” we judge: it will help us not to judge for the sake of judging, or just to say something or, perhaps, to cover our own deficiencies or, simply, because everybody does it. And, above all, let us always remember Jesus' words: «In the same way you judge others, you will be judged» (Mt 7:2).