What does God hate most? First of all, excuse me if I used some blunt wording here. You have to understand that we are all limited by our language and to get everyone’s attention I used some pretty strong words here. But given the words of our Lord today, it’s hard to not imagine some kind of indignation on the part of our Lord for those who choose to judge quickly! God does not smile upon those who decide to take his place on the judge’s bench!
There are two types of sinners: Those who have fallen and those who hold themselves above the rest. We know the Lord has a special place in his heart for those who have fallen. He anoints them with overflowing love and compassion. In fact, he often bows down before them, allowing them to reach out to him, touch him, hold on to him and embrace him. His words are gentle but very powerful: “Go in peace. Your sins are forgiven.”
However, when it comes to those who choose to judge others, and judge harshly, our Lord is very direct and severe: “Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged…”
The Lord is also very clear and pointed in his remarks towards hypocrites too: “You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”
Why such harsh statements? Because God himself knows what it feels like to be beaten by the end of a rod, and to be beaten by hypocrites and judgmental people.
Last year I stopped a gift subscription to U.S. Catholic Magazine. What caused me to finally call their office and request that they no longer send me their monthly magazine was an editorial, written by the chief editor, blasting the Holy Father in a shockingly harsh and mean spirited manner. Speak about cowardly acts! How a Catholic Magazine, knowing full well that the Holy Father will never respond to their comments, will take the audacious liberty to strike at the Shepherd of the Church is absolutely incomprehensible and unjustifiable. Receiving this magazine left me sick to my stomach! I called. I cancelled.
With all this mud being thrown today, I am so proud of how the Church reacts to criticism and how she strives to promote peace and understanding. We run against the current. We can never forget that. But have we forgotten that the greatest current we run against is the fierce current to judge, to seek revenge and to not forgive? There are rock stars, movie stars, Catholics and non-Catholics, atheists and believers living and promoting lifestyles that are not in accordance with our Lord or according to the Magisterium of the Church. Does the Holy Father single out these individuals? Does he throw their names out into the public square? Does he call them by name or for their arrest? No. Instead, “forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”
May we never forget this! May we never forget what it means to be a Christian. This is our contribution to the world: to love our enemies and forgive those who harm us.
Our enemies may not know better, but we know better. We have been called to know better in order to be better – that is, to be more like Christ, who though knocked down and beaten, did not send a legion of angels to destroy his adversaries. Rather, he humbled himself and died praying for his assassins. And in the end, we believe his assassins are resting in peace.
What displeases God most are those who spend so much time naming, ridiculing and mocking His and other’s names, but spend very little time praying, living and loving by His holy name: Yeshua – which means God saves.