Today’s first reading is 1 Corinthians 4.1-5. It deals with judgment, which is a difficult concept to get our minds around. In scripture, we are indeed told not to judge; however, at the same, time we are also instructed to have some kind of discipline within the church. Chrysostom’s homily on this passage, more specifically verses 3 and 4 is very helpful in for providing an understanding the issue of judgment. He begins:
Together with all other ills, I know not how, there hath come upon man’s nature the disease of restless prying and of unseasonable curiosity, which Christ Himself chastised, saying, (St. Matt. vii. 1.) “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” A kind of thing, which hath no pleasure as all other sins have, but only punishment and vengeance. For though we are ourselves full of ten thousand evils, and bearing the “beams” in our own eyes, we become exact inquisitors of the offences of our neighbor which are not at all bigger than “motes.” And so this matter at Corinth was falling out. Religious men and dear to God were ridiculed and cast out for their want of learning; while others, brimful of evils innumerable, were classed highly because of their fluent speech. Then like persons sitting in public to try causes, these were the sort of votes they kept rashly passing: “such an one is worthy: such an one is better than such another; this man is inferior to that; that, better than this.” And, leaving off to mourn for their own bad ways, they were become judges of others; and in this way again were kindling grievous warfare…..
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