Defend others before the Father, Pope Francis urges

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Vatican City, Jun 23, 2014 / 09:12 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily homily Pope Francis warned that those who judge others are “obsessed” and far from God, stating that in order to be close we must defend others rather than hastily accuse them.

“If we want to follow the way of Jesus, more than accusers, we have to be defenders of others before the Father” the Pope said in his June 23 daily Mass.

“I see a bad thing in someone – do I go defend him? No! But keep quiet! Go pray and defend him before the Father as Jesus does.”

Centering his reflections on the day’s Gospel, taken from Matthew, in which Jesus warns his disciples against pointing to the splinter in another’s eye while ignoring the beam in their own, the Roman Pontiff affirmed to those present in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse that God is our “sole judge.”

“The person who judges is wrong, is mistaken and is defeated because he assumes God’s place, He who is the one and only judge.”

Recalling Jesus’ use of the word “hypocrite” in the scripture passage, the pontiff explained that this accusation is directed toward all who pass a hasty judgment on others, while instead God “takes his time” when passing judgment.

Calling attention to the analogy Jesus used of the splinter and the beam, Pope Francis reiterated that those who judge others make the mistake of wanting to remove the splinter from their brother’s eye without even noticing the wooden beam in their own.

“He who does this is so obsessed with the person he wants to judge – that person – so, so obsessed! That the splinter will not let him sleep!” the pontiff said.

Observing how one might say “But I want to take away the splinter!” the Bishop of Rome stated that the person who does this doesn’t “notice the log that he, himself has” and that “Such a person confuses the splinter for a beam.”

He “confuses reality. He’s fantasizing. And he who judges becomes defeated, ends badly, because the same measure will be used to judge him.”

Pointing to Jesus as an example, the Pope explained that only God and those who he chooses have the authority to judge others, observing how “Jesus, before the Father, never accuses!”

“It’s the opposite: he defends!” he said. “He’s the first Paraclete. Then, he sends the second, who is the (Holy) Spirit. He is the defender: he comes before the Father to defend us against the charges.”

“Jesus will judge, yes, at the end of the world, but in the meantime, he intercedes, defends.”

Asking those in attendance who is the accuser that brings the charges against us, the Roman Pontiff observed that it is Satan who is described as “the accuser” in scripture, adding that he who judges “is an imitator of the prince of this world who’s always behind people to accuse them before the Father.

Encouraging those present to “imitate Jesus” as “intercessor, advocate, lawyer,” Pope Francis explained that we must not only do this for ourselves, but also for others.

But “do not imitate others” he cautioned, because following suit with others rather than God “in the end will destroy us.”

If we want to follow Jesus we must defend others before the Father, the pontiff concluded, stating that if we see something bad in another we must not say anything, but rather “go pray and defend him before the Father as Jesus does.”

“Pray for him, but do not judge! Because if you do, when you do something bad, you will be judged.”

“Let us remember this well” he said, because “it will do us good in everyday life when we get the urge to judge others, to speak ill of others, which is a form of judging.”

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