Both of the readings for today are a bit harsh. In the first reading from Romans 2, St. Paul says, “The standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the very same things.” And in the Gospel reading from Luke 11, we see Jesus pronouncing more “woes.” “Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.”
Have you ever noticed that often converts make the best Catholics. And recovering addicts make the best addiction counselors. Do you know why this is true? Because they have walked a mile in those shoes. They have been down that hard road and know what it feels like to go through the pain. The pain of struggling with matters of faith, or battling demons. If these and other cases hold true, then why is it that sinners don’t always seem to be full of compassion?
I think it is well known that those things that we dislike in others are often times the very things that we ourselves are guilty of. St. Paul speaks pretty clearly about this today. And he lets us know the consequences of this, too. “By your stubbornness and impenitent heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself…” Let us pray that today, we can hold ourselves accountable for the things we do wrong, and show compassion for those who struggle with the very same things.
Father, you know that we can be so stubborn and cold of heart. Help us show compassion and mercy for those who share in our struggles. Amen.