So who are we to judge?
In his parables in chapter 13 of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus reminds the crowds of the insufficiency of their all-too-human judgment when it comes to understanding the kingdom of heaven to which he invites them. A man sows good seed in his field; his enemy comes and sows weeds through all the wheat. But whose job is it to judge which is which? Whose job is it to discern who shall be saved? Surely not ours: if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them, the man tells his servants. Only God, the good and forgiving God of Psalm 85, a God merciful and gracious, can judge the hearts of men and have pity on them. Our access to the kingdom is through God alone.
Humankind’s judgment is insufficient in other matters as well: seeing a tiny mustard seed, it is hard to imagine the large bush it will become; likewise, a small measure of yeast is enough to leaven loaves to feed multitudes – who knew? Psalm 85 reminds us that God is great and does wondrous deeds. From the time of the Book of Wisdom, God’s might is a source of justice; God alone judges with clemency and with much lenience. Humans, on the other hand, have need of the Holy Spirit’s intercession in even the most basic of tasks, as Paul reminds the Romans: The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness, helping us in our prayer, interceding for us as we strive to understand God’s will, and God’s love for us.
Our human judgment may be faulty; trusting in God’s kindness and fidelity alone is one way to ensure that we are not tempted to judge others – or ourselves – by any measure except that ordained by the God who has the care of all, by the God who is permits repentance for sins, by the God who gives his children good hope, the hope that is the kingdom to come, a kingdom ever growing, shining like the sun in the eyes of God. God is the only judge we need consider; God’s will is the only path we need embrace, the path that will lead to life-giving justice for all who believe.
This post is based on OLMC’s Scripture class.
Image source: Wordle