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The vile oversimplification we endlessly embrace

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Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 06/20/22

No one likes to feel judged, but it is the thing we do most often in life

Today’s readings: Mt 7:1-5

Reflection

Today’s Gospel of Matthew reminds us of a truth we often forget: Judgment kills people, paralyzes them in condemnation, reduces them to a vileness that is an oversimplification of reality, and forces them not to get back up.

No one likes to feel judged, but it is the thing we do most often in life. If there is one thing we need to work on with the greatest vehemence and effort, it is precisely to stop judging others. And this has a double effect in our lives: freeing others, but also healing ourselves.

Indeed, many times behind our ruthless judgments of others are ruthless judgments that we secretly hold about ourselves. We hurl them against others because we do not have the courage to say them to ourselves. But judging in order to condemn is always wrong, both when it has to do with others and when it has to do with ourselves.

If we truly care about changing the world then we must remember well where that change must begin:

“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.”

This is what our commitment should be: to remove from us that which hinders life, joy, happiness, the passage of light.

Condemning is never healing but only a sterile observation that leads nowhere. Committing to change, on the other hand, is what comes closest to the concept of conversion spoken of in the Gospel. To be honest, it rests not so much on our own initiative as on that suggestion that the Spirit gives to each of us, telling us the truth without ever making us perceive it as condemnation.

~

Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

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