Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
(II Kings 17:5-8; 13-15a.18; Matthew 7:1-5)
In the early 1930’s an English newspaper called for essays answering the question, “What’s wrong with the world today?” There were plenty of wrongs with the world at that time. National economies were in depression throughout the world. Communism was gaining popularity all over. Germany was on the verge of rearming. It is said that G.K. Chesterton submitted the winning essay consisting of only two words. Chesterton wrote, “I am.”
Chesterton seems to have taken to heart Jesus’ message in the gospel today. Rather than judge the wrong-doing of others, his followers are to recognize and correct their faults. This perspective is not unreal and much less self-abusive. Rather, it understands what many come to realize with embarrassment: people are not as capable as they often claim, and others are not as deficient.
It is not possible to refrain from all judgment. Jesus does not intend us to do so. But our judgments should be considerate of the conditions in which others live. They also need to be tentative so that if we are mistaken, the judgment may be readily corrected.