Today, as we celebrate the Memorial of St Aloysius Gonzaga, Tony Worner, Leader of Lay Formation for St Agnes’ Catholic Parish, reads and reflects on Matthew’s Gospel (7: 1-7) in which Jesus says “do not judge and you will not be judged”.
Tony notes that in this text Jesus speaks both in the ‘plural’ and in the ‘singular’. “Do not judge” is in the plural, addressed to the Jewish people and through them to us, as the Church. The verse about the plank in one’s own eye is in the singular, where it is addressed to each one of us. Each one of us needs to consider our own failings, our own weaknesses, our own sins. But the Church too, has to learn to consider the ways in which she has failed to see her own faults as well.
Following in the footsteps of the saints – like Aloysius Gonzaga, a Jesuit, who died at the age of 23 in 1591 – before we can change the world, we must consider ourselves and what we might change in ourselves. We won’t find that easy, but at least, in our failure to change, we may find out why mercy is greater than justice.
In closing, Tony, reminded of the words in the song by Jesse Manibusan, invites us to pray:
Open my eyes, Lord; Help me to see your face.
Open my ears, Lord; Help me to hear your voice.
Open my heart, Lord; Help me to love like you.