In today’s First Reading the Israelites have split into two kingdoms due to tax disputes: the Northern Kingdom of Israel, with its capital in Samaria, and the Southern Kingdom of Judah, with its capital in Jerusalem. Today’s Gospel warns us against being fixated on the faults of others when we have big problems of our own: the Northern Kingdom had been so fixated on the Southern Kingdom that it underestimated the threat of Assyria, and, as a result, it was conquered and absorbed into the Assyrian empire.
Even while trying to assert its Israelite identity the Northern Kingdom was abandoning the customs of its forefathers, probably to stand out in contrast against Judah, and the very identity it tried to preserve was lost. The Kingdom of Judah was not flawless, but the Northern Kingdom turned a blind eye to its own faults because it was too busy judging Judah’s. It’s a reminder to all of us to avoid judging another altogether, as Our Lord teaches us in today’s Gospel, but to especially focus on any cause for condemnation we may find in ourselves before sizing up and condemning others.
Let’s ask Our Lord today to enlighten us regarding our own faults so that we may better help others to over come theirs.
Readings: 2 Kings 17:5–8, 13–15a, 18; Psalm 60:3–5, 12–13; Matthew 7:1–5. See also 23rd Week in Ordinary Time, Friday and 12th Week in Ordinary Time, Monday.