Making the right judgments in these changing times

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

THAT’S what Christ is telling us in that gospel episode where he reproached the crowds of his time for knowing how to read the appearance of the earth and the sky, and yet fail to interpret the temper and the ethos of the time then. (cfr. Lk 12,54-59) It’s a reproach that continues to be made on us, especially now.

This gospel somehow reminds us that we have to learn to read the signs of the times, so we can identify the positive and negative elements, the good and the bad things, the helpful and dangerous elements, and so be accordingly guided

Yes, with all the progress and advances in our sciences and technologies that we are having these days, we can know many things, and, definitely, there are many good things that we can derive from that knowledge. Yet, we cannot deny that in many occasions we fail to see the many dangers these advances also give.

We make many wrong judgments, even to the extent of frontally going against common sense and the very nature of things. In many places in the world today, the God-given nature of things are redefined. The fetus, for example, is just a bundle of cells. It’s not yet a human person. Marriage can now be between two men or two women. Gender is not anymore limited to male and female. There are something like 50 genders now, and counting.

Man-made ideologies are now replacing our Christian faith. The “woke” craze in the US and in other places, for example, has made many people over-sensitive due to their perceived sense of racial prejudice and discrimination, stemming from what they consider to be social inequalities like in the issues of sexism and LGBT rights.

The irony of it all is that while those in this craze are quick to judge others, they themselves do not want to be judged by anybody. They feel they are always right. They often say that others should not be judgmental of them.

What they are doing is actually the reverse of what true and Christian judging should be. We all are meant to make judgments. But we should judge fairly which can only take place if we judge with Christ himself, and now in the Holy Spirit.

With respect to this point, St. Paul had this to say: “He that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” (1 Cor 2,15). We have to aspire to reach this ideal of being spiritual so as to be able to judge all things fairly. It’s a judging that knows how to blend truth, charity and mercy.

When we make judgments with Christ, we would know how to deal with the absolute and relative things in life, the immutable and changing elements of our life. Different times, different generations, different cultures, etc., require different ways of judging but still animated by the same spirit of Christ where true love and fairness can be found.

Since we are made to judge because we are gifted with intelligence and will, we should realize that we can only judge properly when we do it with God always. We should be wary of our tendency to judge simply on our own, relying only on our own powers.

We should have no doubt about our capacity to judge with God always. Our spiritual powers of intelligence and will, plus the grace of God, would enable us to go beyond what we can only sense and understand with our reason alone. With our spiritual powers and God’s grace, we can judge according to the faith, hope and charity that God shares with us.