Thursday, September 04, 2014

The One Who Judges Me

Friday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

By Melanie Rigney

It does not concern me in the least that I be judged by you or any human tribunal; I do not even pass judgment on myself; I am not conscious of anything against me, but I do not thereby stand acquitted; the one who judges me is the Lord. (1 Corinthians 4:3-4)

The salvation of the just comes from the Lord. (Psalms 37:39a)

“No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.” (Luke 5:36-37)

Lord, You will find me lacking in so many, many ways when Your judgment comes. Help me to measure up in the ways that matter most—loving You, and loving my neighbors as myself.

“I’m right, right, right, and you’re wrong, wrong, wrong.”

It was the litany of the Rigney household. My brilliant, narcissistic, schizophrenic father must have said it to Mom and the four of us kids at least daily. Some of us dealt with it by attempting to prove him right. Others dealt with it by exacting perfection, or as close as we could come to it, from ourselves and others.

“I’m right, right, right, and you’re wrong, wrong, wrong.”

Consider by contrast the words from today’s readings. In the first reading, Paul doesn’t worry about what others think of him. He doesn’t even worry about judging himself. Wisely, he puts that in the hands of God.

Similarly, Jesus challenges the scribes and the Pharisees when they criticize his disciples for eating and drinking, unlike theirs and John the Baptist’s followers. There’s no basis for comparison, he in essence says; I am the Way, and you can’t just graft what the Lord wants onto what you’ve always done. It’s time to start fresh…. no matter how right, right, right or wrong, wrong, wrong you’ve judged yourselves and others in the past.

And so we move forward, knowing the only one who’s right 24/7 is the Lord.

Sexual abuse often involves a person in authority exploiting someone who is or who feels powerless. The Arlington Diocese on Saturday will hold a retreat for victims and survivors of sexual abuse at St. Agnes in Arlington. Are you or a loved one hurting? See the diocesan Web site or call the Office of Victim Assistance at (703) 841-2530 for more information.

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