2014-06-23 15:28:00

Pope at Mass: do not be hypocrites who judge others

(Vatican Radio)  Those who judge others are wrong to do so.  Eventually, God will judge them in the same way. Only God is our  "sole judge;" and those who find themselves judged by others can always rely on a defender in Jesus and the Holy Spirit. That’s what Pope Francis said in his morning homily at Monday’s Mass in the Santa Marta guesthouse in the Vatican.  Tracey McClure reports:

Those who unjustifiably assume the role of magistrate will fall victim to their own lack of mercy: this is what happens to those who judge a brother. In his homily, Pope Francis referred to Monday’s Gospel reading in which Jesus warned his disciplines against the hypocrisy behind  judging others when you, yourself may not be blameless.

“The person who judges,” the Pope said, “is wrong, is mistaken and is defeated” because he assumes God’s place: He who is the one and only judge.” Jesus’ accusation of “hypocrite,”  Pope Francis pointed out, is addressed to all of us who hastily judge others.  “God,” on the other hand, said the Pope, “takes his time” when handing down judgment.

Alluding to Jesus’ words, the Pope said those who judge others mistakenly desire to remove the splinter from their brother’s eye without noticing their own eye is pierced by a wooden beam.

He who does this, the Pope observed, “is so obsessed with the person he wants to judge -that person - so, so obsessed! That the splinter will not let him sleep! 'But I want to take away the splinter!' ... And he does not notice the log that he, himself has.” Such a person, said the Pope, confuses the splinter for a beam.   He “confuses reality. He’s fantasizing.  And he who judges becomes a loser, ends up badly, because the same measure will be used to judge him.” Those who are judgmental, the Pope concluded, assume the role of God and can bank on ultimate defeat.

Only God, and those of his choosing, have the right to judge, affirmed the Pope who pointed to Jesus as an example to follow.

"Jesus, before the Father, never accuses! It’s the opposite: he defends! 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.”

In the Bible, the Pope continued, the "accuser" is the devil, Satan. “Jesus will judge, yes, at the end of the world,” the Pope added, “but in the meantime, he intercedes, defends.”

Ultimately, he who judges, said Pope Francis, "is an imitator of the prince of this world who’s always behind people to accuse them before the Father."

The Pope invited the faithful to “imitate Jesus: intercessor, advocate, lawyer” not just for ourselves, but for others too. And "do not imitate others, which in the end will destroy us"

If we want to follow the way of Jesus, the Pope concluded, “more than accusers, we have to be defenders of others before the Father. 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. 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; 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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