After exhorting men to love enemies and avoid judging others, Christ continues with His Sermon on the Plain by explaining why it is absurd for imperfect men to judge others. Referring to the powerful, flawed and highly judgmental Pharisees, Christ warns His disciples about false teachers who are “blind” who will lead their naive (blind) followers to the destruction of the “pit”, an allusion to Hell. The Pharisees are blind to their own sins (lack of mercy, prideful piety, tyrannical rule) and relentlessly judgmental; their followers become like their teachers.

Christ tells a humorous anecdote, which shows the absurdity of sinful men’s judgment of others. Making it personal (“You”), Christ asks why a man obsesses (seeing a “speck”) with finding the sins of a brother while overlooking his own grievous (a “log”) sins. Christ rebukes men who judge others as “hypocrites” (literally actor or pretender) who are mired in sin but in self-piousness are focused on judging others. Instead, Christ instructs men to rigorously examine their own numerous sins and seek holiness (taking out the log) and, then and only then, to gently help others grow in holiness.

Christ not only rebukes the Pharisees, calling them “blind” and “hypocrites”, but mocks them with the absurd example of walking around with a log in their eyes. Christ, knowing His audience toils under the tyranny of the Pharisees, bluntly gives the audience the basis for turning away from the Pharisees.

Awed by Jesus ChristDivine King, Christ directly rebukes the Pharisees, calling them “blind teachers” and “hypocrites” and likely wins over disciples who have been abused by the Pharisees. Perfection of Virtue, Christ courageously challenges the powerful Pharisees, knowing of their growing hatred and death plots. Divine Teacher, Christ constructs memorable parables which relate to everyday life, are sometimes humorous and which makes His teachings impactful and memorable.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) In recent times, people who wish to normalize sin promote a false Jesus who is always sensitive, never says a harsh word, doesn’t judge and accepts people who cling to sin.  Reflect on the true Christ who is crucified for the sins of the repentant and harshly mocks the unrepentant as absurdly “blind” and foolish “hypocrites.”

2) There is has been a terrible decline in civility in modern society as opponents judge and condemn each other; political speech, internet com-box trolls, etc.  Pray for Christ to help you  refrain from both public and internal condemnation of others and to guide you to speak the truth in charity.

3) Christ rebukes those who judge others and insists that a man rigorously assess his own sinfulness.  Make a rigorous Examination of Conscience including a review of how you have judged others this week. Go to Confession.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ

Virtue of the Day – Faith

Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the sick

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To forgive all injuries