Thursday, September 7, 2017

Twenty Third Sunday : A : September 10, 2017

"CHRISTIAN DUTY OF CORRECTING THE ERRING"

First Reading: Ezekiel 33: 7-9
Second Reading: Romans 13: 8-10
Gospel Reading: Matthew 18: 15-20

   * First reading is from the book of Prophet Ezekiel. In this passage Ezekiel is asked by the Lord God to be a watchman for the house of Israel. He is given the duty to warn all the wicked people in the land. The duty given to Ezekiel is same for the prophetic role of every leader. He or she has to speak out against evil and correct the erring members of community.

   * Second reading is from the letter of St. Paul to Romans. In this passage Paul reminds the Christian community in Rome and all of us about the preeminence of the law of love in every situations in life. He instructs us that the practice of Christian love fulfills all other commandments and prevents a person from doing wrong.

"Healing Broken Relationships"
Today's Gospel reading is from St. Matthew. In this passage, Jesus gives us some important and relevant guidelines regarding the duty of every Christian and of  the Christian community of correcting an erring member of the Church in a gentle and delicate manner.
The advice of Jesus in this context is straight forward. The offended person - not the offending one - should first seek reconciliation. The message is that, members of the Christian community should straighten things out with each other privately and in a personal manner. The purpose of this open personal meeting is not to humiliate the offending person but to be reconciled with him. Hence this kind of Christian action is to regain the brother or the sister who had a break in relationship. It is to restore the broken relationship and not for denouncing or to put blame on the other. That is why Jesus told, "if he listens to you, you have gained your brother."
In the second part of the Gospel Jesus assures us His divine presence where even two or three are gathered in His name. These words of Jesus encourages and strengthens us to be part of a caring, forgiving and praying community. 

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