Fr. Roy Cimagala
In one of the Lenten weekday readings, we have been reminded that we have to judge fairly. From the Book of Le-viticus, we read: “You shall not act dishonestly in rendering judgment. Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty, but judge your fellow men justly.” (19,15)
It again just shows us that we actually are made to judge, but to judge fairly. Judging is an unavoidable and indispensable operation of our intellect that is meant to know people and things in general.
So, we just have to learn to judge fairly, because that Christian injunction not to judge people refers more to when we judge people rashly or unfairly. It does not mean that we should not judge at all, because that would be impossible and directly goes against our God-given nature.
To judge people fairly, we need to see to it that charity always prevails. And this can begin by always thinking well of everyone. The reason for this is simply the fact that we are all children of God. We are all object of his divine love that goes all the way to saving us from our sin by God beco-ming man and that God-man, Jesus Christ, accomplishing our redemption by bearing all our sins on the cross.
This attitude of thinking well of others, including those who we do not know and even those who commit mistakes, who offend us, who consider themselves in human terms as our enemies…this attitude of thinking well of them should serve as the constant default page in our life. However the situation and our relations with others are, we should just think well of them.
This will require some effort, of course. In fact, a whole gamut of virtues is needed. We have to learn how to be patient, how to handle our emotions especially when we are contradicted, rejected or offended, how to disagree with others while keeping charity always alive, etc.
In this, we have to see to it that we don’t lose our grip on the eternal truths about ourselves so we don’t get lost in the unavoidable drama in life, and fall at the mercy of our passions and human and worldly forces.
That’s why we need to pray always, to be in touch with God always, asking for his grace and continually developing the virtues. We have to learn how to settle differences and correct mistakes and injus-tices always in the context of charity. Charity will always include justice. Without charity, justice cannot be lived.
To be sure, it’s when we abidingly think well of the others, irrespective of the situation, that we can manage to see things more objec-tively and judge, decide and act more fairly.
Yes, we will experience suffering. This should not be surprising, given the condi-tion that we all are in. But if suffered with and in Christ, that suffering will always do us good, maturing and purifying us, leading us to a deeper understanding of things and to better cope with the many mysteries of life. By Fr. Roy Cimagala is Chap-lain, Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE), Talamban, Cebu City, Email: roycimagala @gmail.com.