• David Knight

Immersed in Christ: September 7, 2020

Monday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

In 1 Corinthians 5:1-8 Paul is calling for a Church whose life—and therefore government—is consistent with the beliefs it professes. We can’t preach and teach one thing, then close our eyes—and mouth!—when people do the opposite.

We think being “judgmental” is bad. But if we say that, we can be accused of judgmentalism toward those who judge others, and that gets us whirling around in inescapable circles of confusion. So, a little clarity…

The key word is “responsibility.” If I have the ability to respond in a helpful way to something I see, I am normally, not just allowed, but obliged to do so. Taking positive action is responsibility. But just to sit around complaining and criticizing is judgmentalism. It is judgmental to condemn in silence or secret. Then the accused can make no defense, and the community can take no action. Responsibility is to confront the situation and all the persons involved, in order to look for a remedy.

Paul takes this into the mystery of our divine life. “Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough,” the “new creation” that Baptism (dying and rising “in Christ”) brings about.

In Luke 6:6-11 the Pharisees were judgmental. They watched Jesus only to “discover a reason to accuse him.” When Jesus urged them to “Stretch out their hearts” and live life to the full, “they became enraged” and plotted to destroy him.

Initiative: Take responsibility for living life to the full.


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