The important thing about this statement by the Pope for us to understand is not that one can just do what they want as I wrote about in the previous entry, but that, as the Pope is following the Lord's example, grace is abundant and free for the taking. The whole judging thing is tied up in a couple of statements made by Jesus:
1"Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2"For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.…
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."
John 8: 7
In this context then, one who "is seeking God" (and how do we know the heart of another person) and is a "person of Good Will", is probably working out their own situation with the LORD God. Most of us have enough of our own problems to be concerned about, so we really don't need to be overly concerned about someone else who is trying to resolve their issues. Pray for them and focus on cleaning out our own closets!
God's grace is plentiful for everyone. His love is great, expansive and generous. All each one of us has to do is to recognize that we have made mistakes in judgment, action, speech, and interactions enough that we ought to be seeking some kind of remission for what we have done or failed to do to others. God forgives the repentant heart. God loves you.
I have found this to be very much true. In my own case, I have had a number of serious illnesses and surgeries some of which were nearly fatal. But I am still here and am quickly approaching the beginning of my seventh decade. I am still here! Those are real comforting words for me, because I could have died during my senior in high school. I firmly believe that the LORD God has kept me alive to accomplish something good for Him. I am hoping that through these frequent messages that someone will be inspired to open their hearts as well to his love as we discuss some of our more important national issues.
In any event, I know that His love has been working in my life and I try to rejoice each day with that knowledge. Does that mean that everything if always peachy? No way! Because we still have the freedom to choose, we often choose unwisely and turn our backs on His intended way. But that's why we have reconciliation in the Catholic Church - to return to Him and make another effort. I think that as long as we are honestly trying that's what's really important. AND - I believe that's what the Pope was talking about in his statement: "If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?" There is a lot more there than meets the eye.
So, we forge ahead trying to find solutions to our issues and we trust in the LORD God to provide us with His wisdom and grace to aid our journey. As we begin the 2015 Holy Week, may God give all of your His Peace!