Jesus said to his disciples, «If your brother or sister has sinned against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are in private, and if he listens to you, you have won your brother. If you are not listened to, take with you one or two others so that the case may be decided by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he still refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembled Church. But if he does not listen to the Church, then regard such a one as a pagan or a publican. I say to you: whatever you bind on earth, heaven will keep bound; and whatever you unbind on earth, heaven will keep unbound. In like manner, I say to you: if on earth two of you are united in asking for anything, it will be granted to you by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered in my Name, I am there among them».
Christian life has its foundation in the Word of God. We are annimated and guided by the same Word, which continues to animate the whole world. In today’s gospel, Jesus invites us to respect the freedom of the other and to accept him or her as he or she is. To do this, he offers us personal dialogue, attentive listening, and patience as means. God acts in this way with us when man rebels against God. He proposes to be divinely, in our humanity.
The second proposal is also very important. May we never be alone. We must take the community (family or friends) in trust. The Christian faith has a communal character. We cannot live our faith in voluntary isolation. An individual who doesn’t associate himself or herself with the community, he or she is no more worthy to be called christian.
The third proposal is more important than the others; prayer. May God be the centre of our life. That we remain connected to God, especially to his will. Since God is with us, in our daily life, we can’t pratically ignore Him.
Action of the day : Be a person of dialogue and listening.
«If your brother or sister has sinned against you, go and point out the fault (...). Where two or three are gathered in my Name, I am there among them»
Fr. Pedro-José YNARAJA i Díaz
(El Montanyà, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, in this brief evangelic fragment, the Lord teaches us three frequently ignored but important ways to proceed.
Understanding and advice for the friend or colleague. To warn him, in discreet intimacy («the two of you in private»), clearly («point out the fault»), of his erroneous attitude so that he can revitalize his way of life. Eventually, if the first advice did not result in anything positive, to get also a friend's collaboration. But if even in this way his conversion cannot be achieved and his sin causes great scandal, we must not doubt to exert the prophetic and public act of denouncing that, today, may just be a letter to a publication's director, or a demonstration or a banner. However, this way of acting is very demanding for whoever practicing it, and frequently, ungrateful and awkward. This is why so many find it much easier to choose what we wrongly call “Christian charity”, which is nothing but pure escapism, comfort, cowardice, false tolerance. In fact, «the same punishment awaits evildoers than the complacent who tolerate them» (St. Bernard).
Every Christian has the right to demand from us priests the forgiveness of God and his Church. At a given moment, a psychologist may appease your state of mind; a psychiatrist, through medical care, can defeat an endogenous disorder. Both can therefore be very useful though, at times, prove to be insufficient. For God only may forgive, remove, forget, smash while destroying, the personal sin. And only his Church can tie or untie demeanours, while transcending Heaven’s judgment. And, thanks to all this enjoy an internal peace and start to be happy.
In the priest's hands and words lie the privilege of taking the bread for Jesus-Eucharist to actually become immanence and food. Any disciple from the Kingdom may join another one, or better still, many more, and with fervor, Faith, courage and Hope, submerge into the world to transform it in the true body of Jesus-Mystic. And in his company go to God Father that will listen to our pleas, for his Son promised us so, «for where two or three are gathered in my Name, I am there among them» (Mt 18:20).