Rom 2, 1-11
So no matter who you are, if you pass judgement you have no excuse. It is yourself that you condemn when you judge others, since you behave in the same way as those you are condemning. We are well aware that people who behave like that are justly condemned by God. But you — when you judge those who behave like this while you are doing the same yourself — do you think you will escape God’s condemnation?
Or are you not disregarding his abundant goodness, tolerance and patience, failing to realise that this generosity of God is meant to bring you to repentance? Your stubborn refusal to repent is only storing up retribution for yourself on that Day of retribution when God’s just verdicts will be made known. He will repay everyone as their deeds deserve. For those who aimed for glory and honour and immortality by persevering in doing good, there will be eternal life; but for those who out of jealousy have taken for their guide not truth but injustice, there will be the fury of retribution. Trouble and distress will come to every human being who does evil — Jews first, but Greeks as well; glory and honour and peace will come to everyone who does good — Jews first, but Greeks as well. There is no favouritism with God.
Clear words fall against the judging of other people, because the judgment of man is in the last dimension alone the right of God.
However, we must not confuse the word, that we have to judge facts or actions of other persons. The difference is that we do not condem the person.
Just the day before yesterday we talked about the fact that there must also be a so-called anathema, that is, a rejection of the error, and that it would be completely wrong not to do this out of a false respect for the person, or because one thinks one would condemn the person. To Judge facts and actions : yes, to condemn persons: no.
The text clearly reminds us that our lives are being judged by God. The goodness and patience of God is waiting for the conversion of man and seeks him. There is great joy in heaven over everyone who converts (cf. Lk 15,7), and we know that our Father is doing everything possible that people will come home. It is exactly this attitude which the Lord also wants from us, and every condeming on our part would close the heart, which should always be open to the sinner.
But we must not make a mistake: Of course, everything we do or not do will be in the memory of our Lord. Any good deed will remain, the evil deeds need forgiveness and repentence so that troubles and distress will not come over us on the “day of wrath.”
Any carelessness is as poisonous to our spiritual life as exaggerated scrupulousness. Mindfulness and responsibility are attitudes that enable us to walk the path of Christ sincerely.
St. Benedict teaches his monks always to live in the presence of God. This opens the view to two dimensions: On the one hand this gives us confidence and the security of being always accompanied by God.
Then it is also a reminder to proove his actions and words in the responsibility before God. Our life gets such a great alertness and we abandon all playful levity, but take life and our being seriously. The conscious man is also aware that all his actions also have consequences for other people, even if everything happens in secret.
Every action in which we fulfill the will of God makes love grow in us. Of course, this also affects our fellow human beings, because depending on how the love and thus also the joy of the Lord grows, the more we can share it with other people, and if it is only through the way of our being.
Conversely, it is the same: if we allow ourselves to be led into the abyss of sin and not with all our strength try to avoid and fight against the sin, then the relationship with God and other people darkens.
The text invites us to become fully aware of our vocation and wake up from any sleepy behavior. This does seriously include not to condem people or to talk badly about them, an evil that is unfortunately widespread. In all his kindness and forbearance towards us weak people, God certainly does not want us to condem our neighbor and to be hard and merciless. This has serious consequences that are clearly said in the reading of today.
Let’s look at it as a very special grace to become ever more awake for God and the people, because then our life gets its true depth. We can ask the Spirit of the Lord to awaken us from all inner sleepiness, so that our life can unfold its full fertility.
Harpa Dei accompanies the daily scriptural interpretation or spiritual teaching of Br. Elija, their spiritual father. These meditations can be heard on the following website www.en.elijamission.net