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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 7, 1-5

'Do not judge, and you will not be judged;

because the judgements you give are the judgements you will get, and the standard you use will be the standard used for you.

Why do you observe the splinter in your brother's eye and never notice the great log in your own?

And how dare you say to your brother, "Let me take that splinter out of your eye," when, look, there is a great log in your own?

Hypocrite! Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother's eye.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus urges the disciples not to judge in order not to be judged themselves. This is a serious statement. God will judge us according to the same judgment that we pronounce on others. Whoever wants a generous and merciful judgment must be generous and merciful to their brethren. On the other hand, whoever judges in a cold or even malicious way will receive the same treatment. Jesus’ statement is not abstract. It is linked to a deeply rooted tendency that we all know very well: to be always indulgent with ourselves and very hard on others. This is a version of the sin of self-centeredness and pride, which - as it says in the Book of Genesis - crouches night and day at the door of our heart. Indeed, we all pay attention to the "speck of dust" in other people’s eyes, while we are more than indulgent in tolerating the "log" in our own eye. This is an attitude of mind that poisons daily life and makes it violent and bitter. However, there is an important distinction that Jesus makes. In telling them not to judge, Jesus is not urging the disciples to be indifferent to other people. On the contrary, he asks each of them to be attentive to other people with a loving and fraternal concern. In that sense, love for others demands attention and judgement, mercy and steadfastness, correction and help. Jesus prohibits the kind of judgement that looks at others and stigmatises them, condemning them without hope or mercy. In this case, judgement is only condemnation. But fraternal correction, which stems from a perspective of love and not disinterest, is nourished by trusting that the Lord gives each person his or her own interior path and his or her own spiritual growth.

Memory of the Poor