behind not judging others
March 13, 2017
Monday, 2nd Week of Lent
First Reading: Dn 9:4b-10 Gospel Reading:
Jesus said to his disciples, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. “Don’t be a judge of others and you will not be judged; do not condemn and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given to you, and you will receive in your sack good measure, pressed down, full and running over. For the measure you give will be the measure you receive back.”
(Daily Gospel in the
Assimilated Life Experience)
An elementary school pupil named Ellah Joy Pique was abducted on February 8, 2011 in Southern Cebu by abductors described by witnesses as a foreigner and a Filipina. The Cebu Provincial Police Office was quick to declare the crime solved with the arrest of Karen Esdrelon and her Norwegian friend Sven Erik Berger. Their alibi however sustained their denial and they were eventually set free. The police authorities handling the case were in trouble for judging them too prematurely. This earned for them the ire of the public. Eventually the chief of police resigned from his post.
It is the duty of the police to catch criminals. But by ignoring the legal presumption that a person is innocent of a crime or wrong (Section 3a, Rule 131, Rules of Court) the police authorities handling the case got involved in knee-jerk judgment. If we must judge, the least we can do is not to take things personally as to be passionately involved in the issue. In most situations this involves the application of the Christian principle of loving even the enemy. After all, when the Lord said that one should not judge so that he won’t be judged he said it in the context of the commandment of love. Do you jump to negative conclusions over apparent mistakes committed by people you love? No. Love will timely bridle the bit of your judgmental instinct and enable you to give the beloved the benefit of the doubt. Because you love the person involved you will leave no stones unturned to find out the truth.
If we can extend the same love to our enemies, we’d also be very slow in judging them. But who is good at loving the enemies? Apparently this is the hardest Christian art to learn. Nevertheless if we reflect upon how God has lavished his love upon us despite our unworthiness, our attitude towards enemies will change. Come to think of this: between us standing before God and our enemies standing before us, who is more unworthy by proportion?
Reflecting upon how God has lavished us with his love is humbling. A person so humbled will be too reluctant to judge even his enemies. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM.
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