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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

Judge Yourself Before Others

by Fr. David M. Knight

July 4, 2024

Independence Day 

Lectionary 380 

Am 7:10-17/Mt 9:1-8  


Amos 7:10-17: Humans desire by nature to know truth and to choose what is good, provided they perceive such knowing and choosing as good for themselves. Unfortunately, we are often deceived in this. That is why prophets, like Amos and all who are consecrated to be prophets by Baptism, must accept the peril of proclaiming truth and the cost of calling people to the good. 


Amos paid the price of speaking truth to power. Amos “is often called the prophet of social justice.” King Jeroboam II “was a capable ruler and a strong military ruler.” He brought the country to power and prosperity. But:  


An oppressive social pyramid had been constructed and class inequalities were having drastic consequences, the poor being victimized by the predatory rich.... Amos saw these egregious social injustices as the antithesis of... Israel’s original covenant with Yahweh [which] allowed no class distinctions.... [It required that] people deal justly with one another. Social justice is thus an indispensable part of covenant responsibility.


This makes Amos a prophet for our day. He was exiled because the “connected’ priest Amaziah took his words out of context and accused him of conspiracy against the king. The tactics have not changed: those to speak truth today, whether to government or Church, risk that their words will be distorted, denounced to authorities, and summarily disapproved, sometimes with sanctions. 


Those who exiled Amos paid dearly for it, however, as all do, sooner or later, who exile the truth. 


Matthew 9:1-8: When Jesus said to the paralytic: “Your sins are forgiven,” why did the “scribes” (the guardians of orthodoxy) say, “The man blasphemes”? Why are ministers today who are lenient with sinners much more likely to be denounced to authorities than those who insist on a more rigid morality and blind observance of the letter of the law?  


Has anyone ever been denounced for refusing Communion to Protestants, to people living together without a Church-recognized marriage, known to be active gays, or practicing birth control? Can we say the same of those who, taking Pius X’s rule at face value: “No one who is in the state of grace and comes to the table of the Lord with a good attitude and devotion can be prohibited from receiving Communion”—and not daring to judge another as conscious of mortal sin—have not refused Communion to some of the above who presented themselves at the table of the Lord? Why do we treat it as “blasphemy” when a minister seems to be thinking, “Your sins are forgiven” without official approbation? What kind of ministers help us more to “Stand and walk”? 

Initiative: Before you judge, judge your act of judging

Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry

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