This week we hear about the prostitute whom the Pharisees brought before Jesus. They were trying to trap him to give them reason to discredit him. Their motivation was not pure, but was driven by their pride, arrogance and envy. Jesus confronts them with truth, making them confront their own treachery. They try to use the law to establish their own righteousness. But Paul reminds us in our second reading that our righteousness comes not from the law but only from faith in Jesus. Once the Pharisees walk away, Jesus is left alone with the prostitute. He does not condemn her, but rather offers her mercy and new life by moving forward and sinning no more. Jesus has provided each of us clear guidance on how to live as well, but offer mercy to us in place of judgement when we sin. Paul tells us to walk away from the ‘rubbish’ of sin which is all loss, and to pursue maturity in Christ by following him.
As Vincentians, we are called to set aside our judgement of others as well, and to offer them mercy instead. We give guidance to them on choices that can help them to move forward, and we offer them the support we can to grasp those choices that they may find hope. We continually have to make choices about our resources available to us and how to best share those resources. We need to take care to have our choices born out of faith in Christ and guidance from the Spirit. Judgement of the ‘worthiness’ of this person or that should not be part of the consideration for all people are worthy in the eyes of Christ. Do I set my judgements aside and seek the guidance of Christ in all my interactions with those I minister to? Are prayer, humility and mercy my guideposts in ministry?
Lord Jesus, help me to set aside my judgements of others and situations. Give me the courage to stand up in mercy reaching out to others with the hope and compassion of Christ Jesus. Grace me with the humility to recognize that all I am and I do is only through the goodness and mercy of God’s love for me. Help me to use the gifts He gives to me in pursuit of perfect maturity in Christ by living only in the faith of Christ. I pray all of this in your name! Amen