Jesus commands men not to judge and condemn others and warns of their own coming Judgment. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Kindness so he can routinely perform many small acts of kindness to others and by growing in the Virtue of Meekness so he can reject wrath and the condemnation of others.
2nd Week of Lent – Monday – Lk 6:36-38
Continuing with the summation of the New Covenant in His Sermon on the Plain, Jesus commands His disciples to be merciful and gives specific behaviors to avoid (judging, condemning) and behaviors to embrace (forgiving, giving), warning that men’s treatment of others (both good and evil) will influence their own unavoidable Judgment.
Jesus warns men not to judge, condemn, or bear grudges against other men. Jesus is not saying to accept sin, for Jesus hates sin and urges fraternal correction (Mt 7:5; 18:15); it is a Spiritual Work of Mercy to Admonish the Sinner. Rather than fail to act to love another by offering correction when appropriate, Jesus warns men that self-righteous pride, judging and condemning another man for his sins, can fill a man’s heart with hatred and contempt, which extinguishes mercy and makes it impossible for a man to forgive another man’s sin.
To help men accept the challenge to live a life that generously offers mercy, Jesus points to the punishments and rewards of the Judgment which each man will face. Rather than being judged and condemned, men who offer mercy to others are rewarded with mercy in their own Judgment. Jesus urges men to forgive as He has taught in The Lord’s Prayer: men will be forgiven their trespasses if they forgive others (“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others…”; Mt 6:12). In contrast, those who do judge and condemn other men will be judged and condemned in their own personal Judgment. Jesus promises those who practice the Virtue of Generosity, by giving to others, will receive extraordinary blessings (“good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over…”).
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Soberly consider what Jesus teaches about the Judgment: Son of God, Jesus sees from a God’s eye view, and the perfection of Charity, Jesus confirms the absolute necessity of the Spiritual Works of Mercy, highlighting, Admonishing Sinners and Forgiving Others; Divine Judge, Jesus affirms His conformance to the Virtue of Vindication (a part of Justice), confirming that every man will be rewarded and punished based on how he treats other men.
Perform many small acts of kindness
Realize: Lent is a time of repentance and mortification for “big” sins, but also for the multitudes of “little” sins a man commits when he fails to offer many small kindnesses to others in daily life.
Believe: Renew your confidence in God’s kindness to you in His boundless Mercy (CCC 210-11, 270, 545, 589, 1439, 1846-1848).
Pray: Jesus, King of Kindness, help me build the Virtue of Kindness (a part of Temperance) so I repent from my lack of kindness, receive Your grace and be strengthened so I am always warm, considerate and generous to others, especially those who are most difficult to love; Lord, help me to grow in kindness by receiving Your Body and Blood in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Reject wrath and grow in Meekness
Realize: When someone unjustly attacks a man (physical and mental abuse, stealing, infidelity, slander), he can be deeply wounded, filled with the Vice of Wrath and a desire for revenge, and fail to forgive; being free from lingering anger and truly forgiving unjust attacks can happen with the supernatural help of God, allowing a man to love and forgive others.
Believe: Grow in your understanding of Forgiveness (CCC 2838-2845).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Meekness, help me build the Virtue of Meekness (a part of Temperance) so I am freed from the Vice of Wrath, filled with gentleness and patience, and given the grace to forgive those who have hurt me deeply.