St Paul says I do not even judge myself. I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. When we come before the Lord, St Paul said Jesus will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. This is what Pope Francis meant when he is often misquoted as just saying Who am I to judge. What he said is this: if a person is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge. Pope Francis says if a person seeks God and has good will, then we cannot judge their heart. Similarly, if an addict has the desire to break free from his addiction, but because of his addiction is unable, we cannot judge that person. Only God knows the hearts of people and only he can judge.
I do not and neither does anyone have the right to judge the intent of the heart because we do not know the intent of everyone’s heart. But we can judge the actions of a person, whether it is good or evil. God is merciful, he calls everyone to himself. 1 Timothy 2:4 tells us it is his will that everyone be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. But God will not save us without our permission. God is merciful and he understands a person who has a desire to change but cannot, due to human weakness. But for those who refuse to repent, they have rejected God’s mercy, therefore will not receive mercy.
The two parables of Jesus about sewing a piece of new cloth on an old garment and putting new wine into old wine skin show that there will be judgment in the end. The new cloth will tear the old garment and the new wine will destroy the old wine skin. The destruction of what is old is the judgment. No one needs to do anything to destroy what was old. When there is no desire to change, or when we continue to live our sinful lives, sooner or later, our lives will break. Our actions cause our judgment. It is not God who destroys us. We destroy ourselves by rejecting the new life God is giving us. Sin is rejection of God, rejection of the life he gives us.
But there is always hope, while we are alive. While the old cloth may tear, or the old wine skin may burst. God makes us new when we repent. He will give us a new cloth and a new wine skin when we turn to him.
If you are hounded by something you did in the past, if you feel guilty of what you did in the past, there is always hope. Come to Jesus because he does not judge you. Return to Jesus, surrender your life to him and start that process of healing. Jesus wants to transform your life and make it new. Turn all your sins to him, and receive the new life he gives you.
Lord Jesus, I am weak and I struggle against my sinfulness. I surrender this desire to sin. I surrender my habitual sin. I surrender my guilt. I surrender my shame. I know this is a process and will take perhaps years, but Lord, I need to start. So here I am. Receive me in your mercy, as I turn to you and commit my life to you. Jesus, have mercy on me a sinner.