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Pope Francis: “Look in the Mirror Before Judging Others”

Pope Francis waves after his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on September 18, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ TIZIANA FABI/ABI/AFP /Getty Images.

Aleteia - published on 06/20/16

The Pope’s last daily homily until September as he takes a summer pause

VATICAN CITY —Before judging others, we should first look in the mirror at ourselves, Pope Francis said on Monday morning during Holy Mass, his final daily Mass with a homily until September 8, as he takes a summer pause.

Commenting on the day’s Gospel Reading from St. Matthew (7:1-5), the Pope observed that, on Judgment Day, we all want the Lord “to look upon us with kindness” and “to forget the many bad things we have done in life.” Judgment belongs to God alone, he said. Therefore, if we do not wish to be judged, we should not judge others.

Jesus calls us hypocrites when we judge others

If “you constantly judge others,” Pope Francis warned, “you shall be judged with the same measure.” 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 when we do this? One word: ‘hypocrite.’ First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye’.”

Pray for others instead of judging them

We see that the Lord gets “a little angry here,” the pontiff continued. He calls us hypocrites when we put ourselves “in God’s place.” This, he added, is what the serpent persuaded Adam and Eve to do: “If you eat this, you will be like Him.” They “wanted to take the place of God,” he said:

“That is why 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,” the pope said, inviting us to talk kindly to others so that they may learn from their mistakes: “But never judge. Never. If we judge, this is hypocrisy.”

Our judgment lacks mercy; only God can judge

When we judge others, he continued, “we put ourselves in the place of God,” but “our judgment is poor judgment;” it can never “be true judgment.”

But “why can’t our judgment be like the Lord’s?” the pope asked. “Because God is Almighty and we are not?” No, he reiterated, “because our judgment is lacking mercy. And when God judges, He judges with mercy”:

“Today let us think about what the Lord is saying 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 she does this … and he does that…’ ‘But, wait a moment …’  I look in the mirror and then I think. On the contrary, I would be a hypocrite if I put myself in the place of God and, also, my judgement is poor judgment. My judgement lacks something very important which God’s judgment possesses, it lacks mercy.

Pope Francis concluded, saying: “May the Lord make us understand these things well.”

LiturgyPope Francis
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