Self-appointed / self-proclaimed pastors or judges
Sirach 27:4-7; Psalm 92:2-3, 13-16; 1 Corinthians 15:54-58 and Luke 6:38-45
Bro. Azam Vianney Mansha
As we are about to begin our Lenten season the Gospel of today (Luke 6:38-45) is inviting us to be attentive that we do not become like the self-appointed / self-proclaimed pastors or judges. To highlight this important matter, Jesus has given three parables with a single implication:
a. Self-appointed pastor or leader (vv. 38-40)
b. Self-appointed judges (vv. 41-42)
c. Positive generates positive (vv. 43-44)
d. Implication (v. 45)
Jesus Christ is not against helping others or guiding someone but he is encouraging his disciples to be aware of their own faults and weaknesses so that in teaching or guiding others they do not become judgmental and condemnatory. On the other hand, Jesus is also telling his audience to be careful while choosing someone to follow (Luke 6:38-40). He strongly warns us today from the self-proclaimed / self-appointed pastors or leaders who think they have special wisdom but often have selfish/hidden agenda to take advantage of the innocent people (Matthew 24:24). Jesus does not intend anyone to go through life blindly while accepting everything he sees and hears (Matthew 24:4). He encourages discernment in every step of one’s life as exemplified by St. Paul (Philippians 2:4).
Since Christian life according to St. John Eudes “is the continuation and completion of the life of Christ in us,” we are invited to imitate Jesus’ attitude of compassion. We ought not to have any judgmental attitude (Luke 6:37; 6:41-42) because we all have faults and we have no right to judge the faults of others.
Only God is our judge! Only God has all the right to judge us (Romans 14:10-12 & James 4:12) for he alone is perfect (Matthew 5:48); while those who usurp this divine function, the self-appointed judges and self-righteous people, are imperfect. Whereas our divine judge shows mercy, the usurpers go after position, money and power without regard for others (Luke 6:36). Let us, therefore, be careful about judging others through our words and actions. Rather, Jesus tells us to bear good fruits (John 15:8).
A good tree, rooted well on the earth, produces a good fruit, whereas a bad tree either produces a bad fruit or never produces anything at all (Luke 6:43-44). With this self-evident principle, Jesus shows us the way to discernment and to always opt for what would deepen our roots in God (Jeremiah 17:8). If we are rooted in Jesus Christ, we will bring much fruits (John 15:5). Our words and actions are the reflection of our inner being. What is in our heart, we bring out through our words and actions. Therefore, we are invited to submit ourselves to Jesus that he may create a pure heart in us (Psalm 51:12) so that we may do the right thing with the right intention (Matthew 6:21).
May Mary, the Mother of Jesus, help us to make the right choices, so that through Jesus, we may bear fruit abundantly in our lives.