12th Week, Monday, Jun 22nd

2 Kings 17:5-8, 13-15, 18 / Matthew 7:1-5 
The tribes of Israel fall: Only Judah remained.

There comes a time when we must reap what we have sown— perhaps unwittingly. There comes an hour of reckoning. When that hour comes, we may cry, we may curse. We may try to blame others, or we may accept the blame ourselves. We may wish we could cram a life-time of change into an hour, but we can’t. Such a moment of reckoning came for the tribes of Israel. n spite of the prophets God sent to warn them, they did not change. And so, the day of doom came for the tribes. Only Judah remained.

What kind of harvest are we planting at present in our lives? “Of all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these: ‘It might have been.’ ” John Greenleaf Whittier
There is one challenge with wearing clothes that are white-coloured or light-coloured. Especially with the white-coloured clothing, it is difficult to keep it from getting dirtied. Any spot or stain is easily noticed and brought to attention. Yet somehow the focus seemed to be on the spot or stain and the obvious colour of white is forgotten.

In the gospel, Jesus tells us not to judge, or more precisely, not to criticize. Because Jesus knows how easy it is for us to indulge in criticism. It is like focusing on the spots and stains on a piece of white cloth.

In life, minor irritations like spots and stains can become major issues. Criticism is always destructive, and it also does the devil's work for him. So, when we look at another person, let us look first at his good qualities. Let us look at the overall whiteness, although the spots and stains can be quite distracting.

Or like what Jesus said, when we see a splinter in another person's eyes, let us look closely again. Because that splinter may just be a reflection of the plank in our own eyes.
Monday June 22


The Northern kingdom of Israel is punished for deserting God through destruction of the country and its people’s exile.
For people who walk side-by-side with the Lord, there is no room for superiority complexes that look down on the people around us to condemn them. We have all the same calling in Christ. Do we not often judge and condemn in others that which, consciously or unconsciously, we condemn in ourselves? At times we even secretly rejoice that our brother or sister suffers from the same shortcoming to a greater extent than we do. If we apply the law to others, God will measure us with the same severity of the law. Let us look into ourselves and remove the beam from our own eyes before we discover the splinter in the eyes of others.

Opening Prayer
Lord our God,
we are people who have not yet seen
what you have prepared for us,
yet, who have to take you on your word
and to walk forward in faith and hope.
Give us faith, Lord, a deep faith
that asks for no other certainty
than that you know where you lead us
and that all is well and secure
because you are our God and Father
who loves us for ever and ever.

Judgment is mine, says the Lord. The Assyrian invasion of Israel was as severe as it was destructive. The deportation of captives to Assyria was widespread, with Israel suffering the consequences for many years after. In today’s reading from Kings, it is asserted that the reason for such destruction was Israel’s moral waywardness. Idolatry had become the order of the day; the covenant and its statutes were disregarded. The prophets went unheeded. The invasion was an act of God’s judgment.
The Gospel, however, presents judgment in a different light. It is really quite a compliment when we refer to someone as being “nonjudgmental.” We may see things in another’s conduct that make us put them on trial in our minds. But that is not our responsibility, and in any case we usually don’t know all the facts.
Moreover, Jesus reminds us that our own faults are often more glaring than those of the person we judge. It is clear that we should avoid judging or making comments about others. If we are gener ous in our dealings with others, God will be generous with us. It is a question of “measure for measure.” Harshness never makes friends; generous feelings almost always do. If we take the wooden log out of our own eye, we will see others in a different light.

Points to Ponder
The lesson of the Assyrian invasion
Our proclivity to judge others
The virtue of being nonjudgmental.

– Lord, do not allow us to take pleasure in judging people, but, like you, in pardoning them, we pray:
– Lord, let our faith be an act of trust that we are in your hands, you want our happiness and you know where you lead us, we pray:
– That the awareness of our own shortcomings may dispose us to put aside our irritation at the mistakes of others, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Generous Father,
you give us your good gifts without measure,
for you are our Father.
Accept in these offerings of bread and wine
our willingness to learn from your Son
to love one another without measure,
to learn to understand one another
and to go together the ways of peace
of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer after Communion
Lord God, our Father,
your Son came into the world
not to condemn it but to save it.
For this he gives himself to us
here in this Eucharistic celebration.
Let us share in his attitude.
Make us look into our own hearts
and learn to see in our neighbor,
behind their faults and failures,
the face of him who came
to forgive and to fill us with his life,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

“Do not judge and you will not be judged.” The tendency among us is so strong and persistent that it is very difficult to eradicate. May God bless you to make you more deeply Christian, so that he can judge you more mildly: The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.