Pope’s Morning Homily: Look in the Mirror Before Judging Others

At Casa Santa Marta, Reminds Faithful to Not Judge Others, But Pray for Them

L'osservatore Romano

Look in the mirror before judging others.

The Pope gave this advice during his homily at morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta today, reported Vatican Radio, as he pointed out that God’s judgment is distinguished from ours by “mercy,” not “omnipotence.”

Because judgment belongs only to God, the Pope explained, “If we do not want to be judged, we should not judge others.”

Drawing inspiration from today’s Gospel, the Pope said, “All of us want the Lord to look upon us with kindness” on Judgment Day and hope He “will forget the many bad things we have done in life.”

Time to Look in Mirror

Therefore, if “you judge others constantly,” he warned, “with the same measure you shall be judged.” The Lord, he said, therefore asks us to look in the mirror:

“Look in the mirror, but not to put on makeup to hide the wrinkles. No, no, no, that’s not the advice! Look in the mirror to look at yourself as you are. ‘Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye and do not notice the log that is in your own eye?’  Or, how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is still in your eye? And how does the Lord look at us then, when we do this? One word: ‘hypocrite.’ First take the log out of your eye, and then you shall see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye’.”

Don’t Judge Others, Pray for Them

The Argentine Pope observed that here, “We see that the Lord gets ‘a little angry,'” for He calls us ‘hypocrites’ when we try to put ourselves in His place, like Adam and Eve did.

The serpent persuaded Adam and Eve to defy God, saying, ‘If you eat this, you’ll be like Him,’ Francis recalled.

“For this reason,” Pope Francis underscored, “being judgmental is very ugly. Judgment belongs only to God, to Him alone!” the Pope exclaimed.  It is for us to “love,” to “understand, to pray for others when we see things that are not good” said the Pope, inviting us to talk kindly to others so that they may learn from their mistakes:  “But never judge. Never. And this is hypocrisy, if we judge.”

Only God Can Judge 

The Pope warned that if we judge others, we “are putting ourselves in the place of God” with our “poor” and “never true judgment.” Our judgment, Francis explained, cannot be like God’s “because our judgment is lacking mercy, but when God judges, He judges with mercy.”

“Let us think today about what the Lord says to us: Do not judge, lest you be judged; the measure… by which we judge will be the same that will be used for us; and, third, let us look in the mirror before judging. ‘But this fellow does this … that fellow does that…’ ‘But, wait a minute …’  I look in the mirror and then think. On the contrary, I’ll be a hypocrite if I put myself in the place of God and, also, my judgement is poor judgment.”

Noting that human judgement lacks the mercy of the Lord’s judgment, Francis concluded, praying, “May the Lord make us understand these things.”

Readings provided by the US bishops’ conference:

Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 371

Reading 12 KGS 17:5-8, 13-15A, 18

Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, occupied the whole land
and attacked Samaria, which he besieged for three years.
In the ninth year of Hoshea, king of Israel
the king of Assyria took Samaria,
and deported the children of Israel to Assyria,
setting them in Halah, at the Habor, a river of Gozan,
and the cities of the Medes.This 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.
They followed the rites of the nations
whom the LORD had cleared out of the way of the children of Israel
and the kings of Israel whom they set up.And though the LORD warned Israel and Judah
by every prophet and seer,
“Give up your evil ways and keep my commandments and statutes,
in accordance with the entire law which I enjoined on your fathers
and which I sent you by my servants the prophets,”
they did not listen, but were as stiff-necked as their fathers,
who had not believed in the LORD, their God.
They rejected his statutes,
the covenant which he had made with their fathers,
and the warnings which he had given them, till,
in his great anger against Israel,
the LORD put them away out of his sight.
Only the tribe of Judah was left.

Responsorial PsalmPS 60:3, 4-5, 12-13

R. (7b) Help us with your right hand, O Lord, and answer us.
O God, you have rejected us and broken our defenses;
you have been angry; rally us!
R. Help us with your right hand, O Lord, and answer us.
You have rocked the country and split it open;
repair the cracks in it, for it is tottering.
You have made your people feel hardships;
you have given us stupefying wine.
R. Help us with your right hand, O Lord, and answer us.
Have not you, O God, rejected us,
so that you go not forth, O God, with our armies?
Give us aid against the foe,
for worthless is the help of men.
R. Help us with your right hand, O Lord, and answer us.

AlleluiaHEB 4:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 7:1-5

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.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’
while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”

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