This year, or this month, or, more likely, this very day, we have failed to practice ourselves the kind of behavior we expect from other people. - C. S. Lewis
(Rom 2:1-11): You, O man, are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment.
For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself,
since you, the judge, do the very same things.
We know that the judgment of God on those who do such things is true.
Do you suppose, then, you who judge those who engage in such things
and yet do them yourself,
that you will escape the judgment of God?
Or do you hold his priceless kindness, forbearance, and patience
in low esteem, unaware that the kindness of God
would lead you to repentance?
By your stubbornness and impenitent heart,
you are storing up wrath for yourself
for the day of wrath and revelation
of the just judgment of God,
who will repay everyone according to his works,
eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality
through perseverance in good works,
but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth
and obey wickedness.
Yes, affliction and distress will come upon everyone
who does evil, Jew first and then Greek.
But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone
who does good, Jew first and then Greek.
There is no partiality with God.
If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it’s that hypocrisy is THE key temptation for all good people. It’s the line you and I walk every day… How often do we say more than we do? How often do we intend the good and fall short again and again.
So, when Jesus addressed the Pharisees, they functioned as a foil for his disciples. They “love the seat of honor in the synagogues…” What did the disciples fight about at the Last Supper? “Who is the greatest?” What do we fight over in our own time? Yep, you got it.
Paul spoke strongly to the Romans, saying, “You, O man, are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment. For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the very same things…”
Essentially, he’s calling them hypocrites because of the way they judge others. And by extension, he’s calling us… Yep, you got it.
Paul insists that we do the very things we judge others for.
Even though it’s not Lent, I do find that I wonder about what sort of grace, what sort of event, what nudge will God send me to change me? And why does it take so darn long? What don’t I get?
More and more, I believe that the BIG grace and purification I hope for comes only in purgatory. Which leaves me standing always in need of the graces of challenge and comfort from the Lord. Even though it hurts my pride to be situated with the Pharisees, it does seem more realistic and truthful. Ouch!