Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgement on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things. You say, ‘We know that God’s judgement on those who do such things is in accordance with truth.’ Do you imagine, whoever you are, that when you judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself, you will escape the judgement of God? Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience?
Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgement will be revealed. For he will repay according to each one’s deeds: to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honour and immortality, he will give eternal life; while for those who are self-seeking and who obey not the truth but wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be anguish and distress for everyone who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honour and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.
Today is Wednesday the 16 October, in the 28th week of Ordinary Time.
The monks of Glenstal Abbey sing Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est. Wherever love is true, God is there. If you are commuting or near people, look around you. If you are praying alone, think of the people in your life. Think of the lives these people lead, how they move about their daily lives, their work, their worries, their passions, their loves. God is present here: the God who is love. Present, living, dwelling in every one of these people, and in you.
Today’s reading is from St Paul’s letter to the Romans.
Paul doesn’t often quote Jesus directly, but here he seems to be commenting on Jesus’s words “Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves”. How do these words sound to you? Do you think of yourself as a judgemental person?
One reason that God doesn’t judge harshly, according to Paul, is that God’s kindness and patience gives us time to change our ways. Can you point to any experiences of God’s kindness and patience towards you in recent days and weeks?
Paul is anxious that we shouldn’t take God’s patience for granted. How do you find yourself reacting to Paul’s concerns here?
Towards the end of the reading, Paul shows what is in store for those who do good, and for evil-doers. Notice their contrasting fates as you hear the passage read again.
What do you find yourself wanting to say to this kind and patient God in the closing moments of this time of prayer?