12 Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 2 K 17:5–8, 13–15a, 18
The army of the king of Asshur subjected the whole of Israel, and they came to Samaria and laid siege to it for three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria, exiled the Israelites to Asshur and made them settle in Halah, at the banks of Habor, the river of Gozan, as well as in the cities of the Medes.
This happened because the children of Israel had sinned against Yahweh, their God, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, where they were subject to Pharaoh, but they had turned back to other gods. They followed the customs of the nations which Yahweh had driven out before them.
Yahweh warned Israel and Judah through the mouth of every prophet and seer, saying: “Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and precepts according to the laws which I commanded your fathers and which I have sent to you by my servants, the prophets.”
But they did not listen and refused as did their fathers who did not believe in Yahweh, their God. They despised his statutes and the covenant he had made with their fathers, and the warnings he had given them.
They went after worthless idols and they themselves became worthless, following the nations which surrounded them, in spite of what Yahweh had said, “Do not do as they do.”
So Yahweh became indignant with Israel and cast them far away from his presence, leaving only the tribe of Judah.
Gospel: Matthew 7:1-5
Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not judge and you will not be judged. In the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and the measure you use for others will be used for you. Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye and not see the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother: ‘Come, let me take the speck from your eye,’ as long as that plank is in your own? Hypocrite, take first the plank out of your own eye, then you will see clear enough to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
“The measure you use for others will be used for you.” Do not these words sound strange coming from Jesus, who came to inaugurate the era of grace (a word that means gift)? Does he not sound like a banker here? In fact, worse: bankers give interest! How are we to understand what he is saying here? Think big! Jesus is telling us. Open up your heart, your mind, your hopes, your soul. To judge others is to trim them to your own measure. “You then,” wrote St. Paul, “why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on him”(Rom 14:10)?
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