Friday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

“Judge not, lest you be judged” (Mt 7:1). In today’s first reading, Paul does not apply this principle merely to others, but even to himself. “I do not even pass judgment on myself: I am not conscious of anything against me, but I do not thereby stand acquitted; the one who judges me is the Lord” (1 Cor 4:3b-4). If we are not particularly gifted in making correct judgments regarding others, we may be even less so with regards to ourselves. In this light, it is significant that, when proposing his examination of conscience, Saint Ignatius of Loyola does not presume that we can know our sins on our own, but only with the help of God’s grace (SpEx 43, second point). It is God’s love alone that judges us rightly, for it is in the light of the Lord’s love for us on the cross that we recognize our failure to love. But it is also God’s love that heals us, for in God’s judgment, we are offered the grace to begin to love as God loves.

Submitting to God’s judgment at the end of each day through a good examination of conscience is one way of acknowledging Jesus Christ to be Lord in our lives. As we offer our day to him, we may be surprised at how, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, things begin to appear in a new light. Things that we have considered to be failures may instead be revealed to be occasions for rejoicing in the Lord, whereas those things which perhaps filled us with pride may now appear as something we should surrender to God’s mercy . In any case, at the end we surrender all to God’s mercy, because, since we are ultimately incapable of judging ourselves,we cannot fully know how the Lord is working with us. As a previous reflection on today’s gospel indicates (, cf. Lk 5:33-39) the Lord might be more patient with us than we are with ourselves, for he hopes for greater things for us than we might dare to imagine for ourselves.

September 2nd, 2016