1 Cor 4:1-5
In today’s gospel Jesus is being closely watched and publicly scrutinized by the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus has chosen the tax collector, Levi, as a disciple and is now dining at his house with sinners and other tax collectors. The Pharisees and scribes not only scrutinize Jesus for the company he chooses (Luke 5:30-32), but also the practices they keep, or in this case, don’t keep. They are comparing Jesus with John the Baptist’s followers and with the customs and laws Jesus and his disciples seem to be breaking.
In our own day it is easy for us to do the same. We spend our energy comparing and judging others; we constantly scrutinize others for their actions and choices. If we turn on the TV or the radio today we hear political conventions and advertisements clearly epitomizing our culture of comparison and scrutiny – especially when it comes to looking at our opponents and enemies. Yet the Jesus who unifies us all in God’s love looks to reconcile new and old, friend and enemy, slave and owner, oppressed and oppressor. Our judgment and scrutiny of others today is most often harmful and done in vain. For as St. Paul writes in the first reading, “[The Lord] will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts, and then everyone will receive praise from God.” There is no better time than the beginning of our political season to remember that it is only God who knows the depths of our hearts and the motivations of our choices and actions.
- Tyler Wessman served in Honduras as a Passionist Volunteer from 2007-2008. He recently earned his Master of Divinity from Boston College and currently teaches theology at Fontbonne Academy in Milton, MA.