2 Kings 17:5 –8,13 –15,18
Matthew 7:1 -5
The Word of God comes to us today with a note of warning. It is like turning on the shower knob – and finding the water is icy cold! It shocks us out of our complacency. In the first reading, the Northern Kingdom of Israel centred on Samaria is laid siege to and defeated by the King of Assyria. This happened in about 721BC. The king Hosea is captured and put in chains. The people are deported to far off Assyria and Nineveh. This is the collapse of a big part of King David’s realm. What a calamity!
We are told that this happened because the kings and the people had forgotten the God who saved them and worshipped other gods and despised his laws. They did not listen to God’s servants the prophets whom God sent to them continually – calling them to repentance.
Our choices have consequences. Each day God calls us to respond to his call. We all depend on God’s grace to respond to his Word and seek conversion and peace. Do I seek to respond to his Word in my heart?
In the Gospel, Jesus tells us very directly: “Do not judge and you will not be judged, because the judgements you give are the judgements you will get.”
Jesus warns us to look kindly on our brother and sister – not being like a thief or an enemy out to slay our brother or sister, but humbly aware that each of us has a plank of timber in my eye. So easily we tell ourselves what I do is very little… not so bad, but she is impossible! Who am I to judge what is good and bad between God’s own children? Why do I so easily forgive myself and not forgive my brother or sister? Jesus says: “First, take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother or sister’s eye.”
In the end, we fall back on the words of the Psalm: (Psalm 60):
“Help us with your right hand, O Lord, and answer us.”
Pat McIndoe CP, a Passionist at St. Gabriel’s Retreat, Boroko, Port Moresby