Mt 7:1-5 Measuring Sticks

Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)

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.”

Measuring stick.  The destruction of Israel came about because “the children of Israel sinned against the LORD, their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt, from under the domination of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and because they venerated other gods” (cf. 2Kgs 17:13-15a).  In other words, the children of Israel used their own measuring stick when it came to faith and morals.

Often we think of the Lord’s commandment “Stop judging!” to mean “Stop sharing your faith with others” or “Mind your own business.”  But given today’s readings, I think it could easily mean something like: “Stop judging things according to your own measuring stick.”

Take for example the sacrament of marriage.  A few days ago I read that the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted in favor of allowing same-sex marriages.  This Church has lost nearly half its members in the past forty years.  I am sure it will lose another half this coming year.  Regardless, here is a Christian community that has decided to judge the morality of same-sex marriage according to their own measuring stick (votes), and not by that of Jesus Christ (The Word) and His Church (The Way).

The Lord warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and seer, “Keep my commandments and statutes…”  And yet, the temptation throughout the history of mankind has always been the same:  to judge people and things according to our own measuring stick.

So what is wrong with that? 

The fickleness of humans.  People are constantly changing their minds.  And they do so especially when they are under a lot of emotional stress, financial pressure or personal guilt.  Take for example the case where someone you love has broken the law.  It’s easy to feel a lot of sympathy for them, or turn a blind eye for them, and make up a ton of excuses for them because you love them or because you can identify with them.  It’s not at all difficult to avoid these feelings when the person is far removed from you or you downright hate them. 

As you can see, our measuring stick (or scale) can easily shift from one end to the other, according to personal feelings rather than God’s commandments.

Therefore, the problem isn’t that there is too much judging going on in the world.  The problem is that it can become highly personal and emotional. 

So the question is:  By what measuring stick are you judging?  Your own or Christ’s.  

Let’s be prayerful about it, otherwise we might find ourselves on the wrong side of human history and salvation history.  (0)

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Fr. Alfonse (1044 Posts)

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