Theme: Brotherly/Sisterly Correction and Speaking out
Christ said " Where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them: we meet in Christ's name, Therefore he is with us. He binds us together as a community and hence called to be responsible for one another.
1st Reading (Ezekiel 33:7-9).
This stresses the duty of the appointed leader to speak out against the evil he sees around him. If he doesn't do so he will be held responsible by God.
2nd Reading ( Romans 13: 8-10)
If we truly loved our neighbors we would not harm them in any way.
Gospel (Mathew 18:15-20)
This talks about the duty a Christian has to correct an erring brother or Sister. There is a way of doing it.
Today's Gospel raises a very practical issue, namely how to act when someone close to you is hurting you badly. This can happen even in the Christian community. For instance, suppose a wife is getting beaten, or a husband is an alcoholic. Terrible hurt is caused. Today's Gospel gives us away on how to deal with these kinds of problems. Let us see how to deal with the kinds of problems. Let us see how the injured person goes about solving the problem.
We begin by keeping it to ourselves. It may be that we are ashamed or simply unable to talk about it to anyone. After some time, no longer able to keep it to ourselves, we begin to tell others about it, friends, neighbors, relatives, sometimes even to total strangers.
The last person to hear about the hurt is often the person causing it. Suddenly he finds out that everybody has been talking about him behind his back. This discovery is very hurtful and can make reconciliation even harder to achieve.
Today's readings especially the first reading, stresses the duty of speaking out against the evil in our society. This duty naturally falls most heavily on the leaders in the Christian community. Each of us by virtue of Baptism is called to be a prophet that is, someone who speaks for God. Hence we should not remain silent when silence can be taken to mean that we approve of what is happening in that case we would be responsible for evil.
What is the world expects of us Christians is that we should speak out loud and clear and should voice the condemnation without fear or doubt in the hearts of people.
Christ's teaching on reconciliation is not easy yet makes sense, and is the only road to true peace.
The word of God invites all of us to be generous in forgiving and seeking reconciliation especially those that have been deeply hurt by people and are still with resentment and bitterness.