Sunday, June 22, 2014
Monday 12th Week in Ordinary Time
Monday 12th Week in Ordinary Time
2 Kgs 17: 5-8, 13-15a, 18 / Ps 60: 3, 4-5, 12-13 / Mt 7: 1-5
Reading: 2 Kgs 17: 5-8, 13-15a, 18
The army of the king of Asshur subjected the whole of Israel, and they came to Samaria and laid siege to it for three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria, exiled the Israelites to Asshur and made them settle in Halah, at the banks of Habor, the river of Gozan, as well as in the cities of the Medes. This happened because the children of Israel had sinned against Yahweh, their God, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, where they were subject to Pharaoh, but they had turned back to other gods. They followed the customs of the nations which Yahweh had driven out before them. Yahweh warned Israel and Judah through the mouth of every proph-et and seer, saying: "Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and precepts according to the laws which I commanded your fathers and which I have sent to you by my servants, the prophets." But they did not listen and refused as did their fathers who did not believe in Yahweh, their God. They despised his statutes and the covenant he had made with their fathers, and the warnings he had given them. So Yahweh became indignant with Israel and cast them far away from his presence, leaving only the tribe of Judah.
Gospel: Matthew 7: 1-5.
Do not judge and you will not be judged. In the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and the measure you use for others will be used for you. Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye and not see the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother: 'Come, let me take the speck from your eye,' as long as that plank is in your own? Hypocrite, take first the plank out of your own eye, then you will see clear enough to take the speck out of your brother's eye.
God's relationship with his chosen people became sour because the people did not obey the laws and statutes God gave to their fathers. Instead of serving God, the chosen people served worthless idols. Indeed God as a parent always called the attention of His chosen people through the prophets and seers, but His people were in love with idols.
In the gospel the evangelist is reminding the people not to judge, criticize and perhaps even condemn others, but for us to look at our own lives first and see to it that we are living according to God's law of love. For we might find ourselves like them or even worse so we have no credibility to criticize others.
We as followers of Christ and now members of His Church have forgotten the message he came to bring - LOVE. What the Lord is forbidding is to put the person down, to find fault in him, to put him to shame so that we would look better than he or she. That is not love, but pride. If we really love a person who needs to reform, we have the responsibility to help him or her to change. There is such a thing as constructive criticism whose purpose is to make the person see his wrong doing without insulting him or her. This is allowed because the purpose is to correct the person, not to put him down. St. Paul said, "Brothers, if a man is caught in some transgression, you who are spiritual should correct him in a gentle spirit, looking to yourself so that you also may not be tempted." (Gal.6:1). This is the primary reason why we judge, to make a brother realize the error of his ways.
Notice that St. Paul says "you who are spiritual" meaning we should be living God's law of love. And he says "correct him in a gentle spirit" which means not to put him to shame. In doing this, we need a lot of love, compassion, and patience. Let us not give up in helping a person to become better if we truly love him or her.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
... for families who are in need of healing.
... for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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