Weekday homily for Monday of the 5th Week of Lent
Theme: NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU!
By: Fr. Benedict Agbo
Homily for Monday March 22 2021
* Dan 13 : 1 – 30, Jn 8 : 1 – 11.
Why is it that the greatest sinners are often times the foremost in condemning others?
Perhaps they do this unconsciously in order to cover their own sins or distract people’s attention from themselves to others’ sins. Or perhaps in accusing others they massage their own ego by establishing that ‘their brothers all over are suffering the same fate’.
Our judgment of others must have 2 qualities;
(i) Fairness – We must not be rash like in the case of today’s 1st reading, without hearing the other’s point of view. Don’t also help to spread a rumor if you don’t want to share in the sin. If not that God roused the Holy Spirit residing in a young boy called Daniel, Susanna would have been a dead woman. The immoral elders had already accused her of immorality and everybody had succumbed to the accusation. That is the kind of jungle justice we see in Nigeria. Many lawyers establish validity not veracity, sacrificing justice and truth on the altar of human politics and greed. People are prosecuted when they belong to the opposition and become innocent when they join the ruling party.
(ii) Kindness – Our kindness to others must be the resultant effect of our receiving kindness from God. How can God be tolerating our sins when we cannot tolerate the sins of others?
The Pharisees were ready to stone the woman caught in adultery even when they were guilty themselves of similar iniquity. Their whole intention of bringing this case before Jesus was not because they cared so much for morality but to entrap Jesus. It may have also been a Pharisee like them who did it with her and they allowed him to escape. J Mason says, ‘Judge yourself with the judgment of sincerity and you will judge others with the judgment of charity’. Jesus was the only one qualified to cast a stone at the woman but he decided not to condemn her. He condemned sin and loved sinners, so he condemned the woman’s sin and called her to repentance thus, giving her a second chance. Christians are called 24 : 7 to do like Jesus – to stoop down and examine so many things before we condemn people. I also love the end point of the 1st reading where the wicked legislators were put to death after being caught in their own elements. In any sane country, the right punishment must be given to suitable offences as deterrent for similar offenders in future.
May God bless you today!
FR BEN AGBO