Memorial of St. Aloysius Gonzaga
(II Kings 17:5-8.13-15a.18; Matthew 7:1-5)
The story is told how an English newspaper held an essay contest in the early 1930s. Participants were to submit compositions answering the question, “What’s wrong with the world today?” Even more than at most times, there were troubles then. The great economies of the world were in depression. Many people were looking toward communism as an answer to social problems. Germany was on the verge of rearmament. Interestingly, the winning essay did not touch on any of these concerns. As a matter of fact, it was composed of just two words. “What’s wrong with the world...?” “I am,” wrote G.K. Chesterton to capture the prize.
Chesterton took to heart Jesus’ message in the gospel today. Rather than criticize others’ faults, Jesus insists that we are to acknowledge and correct our own. Still, at times we will have to make judgments over others’ performance as, for example, a supervisor assessing an assistant’s work. We might remember the Native American adage then, “Walk a mile in another man’s moccasins before you criticize him.”