Monday, June 23, 2014
"No accurate thinker will judge another person by that which the other person's enemies say about him."
"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.” – St Matthew
Gospel text: (MT 7:1-5)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’
while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”
Do not judge, that you may not be judged. Is the Lord telling us to “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”, to be naive and undiscerning? Part of the prophetic role of the baptized is precisely that: to be prophetic, not to abstain from taking positions. Part of our being sent is to call evil what is evil and good what is good. But this does not necessarily mean that we have to set ourselves up as judges of others.
In the English language, a pertinent distinction is offered in the use of two different words, namely, critiquing and criticizing. They both have the same etymological root, but they have different meanings. We critique products: books, poetry, paintings, music... We critique actions, strategies, principles... The moment we pass from products to persons, from actions to agents, we are no longer critiquing, we are criticizing. And in criticizing we are setting ourselves up as judges of our brothers and sisters, we become “personal” in our passing judgment. We are able to critique products, because, at least to some extent, we can “measure” their quality. But we do not have any sure gauge to measure the intention and heart of the agent, as distinct from the action itself, and so to criticize the person.
I believe this is the context of the Lord’s injunction do not judge: do not condemn (the person), that you may not be condemned. Whether we judge/criticize or not, we are all going to be judged one day by the One, who is entitled to do so: The Father has entrusted all judgment to the Son [Jn. 5:22].
So yes, we are asked [Mt. 16:16] to be simple as doves, but shrewd as serpents. Simple toward people, but prophetically shrewd toward actions, policies, products.
Posted by Joe Reciniello at 5:57 AM