In the first reading, St. Paul writes a very endearing letter to Timothy telling him about the great love and mercy the Lord has bestowed on him. St. Paul knows himself very well, his weaknesses and sins, and after the Lord called him, acknowledging this reality made it clear to him that every work he does and every word he speaks is not from his own effort. His humanity is so frail that he constantly needs the Lord’s mercy for him to go on. His capability to preach and the courage to go on regardless of the threat to his life is not his own but the Lord working through him and for this he is ever grateful to the Lord for giving him a greater life to live than he could ever know.
Do we know ourselves completely like St. Paul that we are able to acknowledge that any good deed or good word or good thought that comes from us is not of our own effort but from God?
In the Gospel reading we are invited to take a deep look at ourselves before we judge others, before we think ourselves better than the other. It is only through the Lord’s grace and mercy that we can acknowledge our weaknesses and failures before we even dare to judge others for their faults and weaknesses.