FIRST SUNDAY OF THE GREAT FAST 2018 Metropolitan Stefan Soroka
When Philip told Nathanael that they had found “the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, also the prophets, Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth”, Nathanael asks “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (Jn 1:46). Nathanael reveals a common human characteristic, namely a tendency to make quick judgments. Jesus repeatedly instructed his disciples and the people to whom he preached to “Stop judging that you may not be judged” (Mt 7:1) He would ask why we look at the splinter in another person’s eye and not the wooden beam in our own eye. Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone! Quick judgments are often revealed through the occasional use of inappropriate words or swearing. Jesus told his disciples that “on the day of judgment, people will render an account for every careless word they speak” (Mt 12:36). We ought to set aside any careless use of words. Setting aside our tendency to judge others while realizing our own huge imperfections is a necessity before welcoming the Lord into our hearts.