Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Do you easily judge others and overlook your own faults? - Daily Reflections October 14,2015

Since today’s Gospel passage is the continuation of yesterday’s reading, we will have a look at the First Reading, continuation of yesterday’s. Yesterday, Paul had condemned the Gentiles as idolaters. Jewish readers would have agreed with everything Paul wrote. They thought, being Abraham’s descendants, they would be saved. Rabbis taught, “All Israelites will have part in the world to come… Abraham sits beside the gates of hell and does not permit any wicked Israelite to go through.” They judged themselves as saved and condemned all non-Israelites.
       This is also reflected in what Justin Martyr said in the Jew Trypho, “They who are the seed of Abraham according to the flesh shall, in any case, even if they be sinners and unbelieving and disobedient towards God, share in the eternal Kingdom.”
       Jewish readers would have nodded their heads when they read the first chapter of Paul’s Letter to the Romans. But the continuation we read today must have upset the Jewish readers because Paul contradicts their belief that they would be saved in spite of doing something evil. Jews as well as Gentiles, he writes, will be judged by God who is impartial. “There is no favoritism with God,” today’s reading ends.
       In spite of this clear word, the Church taught for a long time that there is no salvation for non-Christians. Catholics became too confident of salvation, and that can be said even for many today. Immorality, corruption and crimes are rampant in the only Christian country in Asia. Why? “God is good! God is all-merciful! God will forgive!” is what too many think to justify their immoral actions. It is correct: God is good, merciful and forgiving. But if we take this as a security blanket and think that salvation is ours whatever we do, then we will be shocked when we stand before our divine Judge who does not know any favoritism. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you easily judge others and overlook your own faults?
Lord, the words of St. Paul hit me. May I not abuse Your mercy and love, and strive for an honest and holy life.

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