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Monday, June 21, 2004

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St. Aloysius Gonzaga

2 Kings 17:5-8, 13-15, 18
Psalm 60
Matthew 7:1-5

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do others judge you to be "judgmental"?

"If you want to avoid judgment, stop passing judgment." —Matthew 7:1

One of the few serious sins admitted in our culture is that of being "judgmental." In our secular humanistic society, to be promiscuous, addicted, lying, greedy, lustful, or proud is to be tolerated, but to be judgmental is nearly the unforgivable sin.

Jesus commands us not to judge others in certain ways, but this is not the same as what the world means by being judgmental. Jesus tells us to judge first our own sins and repent (see Mt 7:5). Then we are to judge the ways in which others have sinned and invite them to repent also (see Mt 7:5). We must not be permissive. Our business is to judge the morality of our own actions and the acts of others.

However, it is not our business to judge the subjective guilt of others (Mt 7:2). Although we can often know whether other people are doing right or wrong, we don't know whether those who sin know what they are doing (cf Lk 23:34). Also, because it is not our business to judge the subjective guilt of others, we obviously shouldn't be sentencing others to various punishments for their sins (see Mt 7:2).

Let's stay out of the business of unforgiveness and vengeance, and stay in the business of speaking the truth in love (Eph 4:15) and being ministers of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18).

Prayer:  Father, may I not be worried about being judged to be judgmental. May obedience to You be my concern.

Promise:  "Then you will see clearly to take the speck from your brother's eye." —Mt 7:5

Praise:  St. Aloysius chose to follow his calling to the religious life even though it meant he had to suffer the wrath of his earthly father.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Do Not Judge Others on audio AV 58-1 or video V-58.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, December 13, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 2003