An important lesson about judgment today from St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 4. St. Paul doesn’t care a whit if people judge him. He is only concerned about how God will judge him. In the Gospel from Luke 5, Jesus talks about old wine and new wine, old wineskins and new wineskins. He says, “No one who has been drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’ ” A great lesson for us not to become so complacent in our faith that we are no longer open to the new wine of the Spirit.
St. Paul had such a great attitude. In today’s first reading, he talks about judgment from a number of different angles; us being judged by others, us being judged by God, and us passing judgment on others. To the latter, he says, “do not make any judgment before the appointed time.” In essence, let God do the judging.
As to the first, St. Paul wasn’t worried about how anyone would judge him. His only care was how God would judge him. Oh, if only I could be more like that! How often I’m so careful about my words, making sure that I don’t offend so no one will judge me harshly. I dare say there are times when I shy away from speaking the truth so as not to be judged. Let’s be clear: we use judgment all the time. But when it comes to someone’s soul, that’s not our job. And it’s not the job of others. (As such, we shouldn’t be concerned about them.) God alone has that gig.
Father, help us to stop being so judgmental, and to stop worrying how others will judge us. Give us the courage to always speak the truth, and to think only of how we will be judged by you. Amen.