No, I did not forget to finish the title. It is for you to finish. The readings today have a unique connection. If you just read the gospel, you know it is about judging, judging others that is.
We all fall into this judging trap. We use the old phrase ‘there but for the grace of God go I.’ We feel comfortable comparing ourselves to others if the comparison is that we are better than they. Seldom do we compare ourselves to others we feel are better than we are. Perhaps because our judgement is often based on emotions. They look beautiful, they seem to be more intelligent, they are in better shape. Self-comparisons like this are not what God intended. They are degrading to you and destroy oneself confidence. We forget God made us just the way we are by His design.
The first reading gives us insight as to how to properly judge others. St. Paul has a unique method. Before he issues a judgement on the behavior of people, he reminds them and himself that he was once a persecutor of the faith. What he offers is correction based on what he experienced. He submits how he was corrected, with love, in hopes others will see themselves and desire to make a change of heart. Just think, if you had to remind yourself publicly of your past sins before you made a judgement of others, how often would you judge others? You would have to start out with: “I once was a . . .”
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen