Wednesday of the 19th Week
Matthew 18: 15-20
I am deeply troubled by the hatred, violence, and bigotry that is happening in our country. There are times I am frightened and do not know what I should do, and there are times I feel as a priest I need to do something. My solution is twofold, to preach the Gospel message of Jesus Christ with more vigor and honesty than ever before. At the very core of my being, I am being pushed to examine all that I do, all that I think, and all that I say, in light of the Gospel message.
In our first reading, Moses has died and he is being remembered by always speaking the message of God, no matter how hard it was to say. Moses never questioned God about what he was to say, he just delivered God’s message and did not worry about the consequences. Moses is still known as the greatest prophet the world has ever known.
Our Gospel is about solving problems that come as a result of living in community. This passage is especially concerned with big problems; it presumes that little problems can be worked out by the first method. It also presumes that big or small problems will be worked out in mutual love and understanding. The first step is “Fraternal Correction” this is where you go to the person who is lost and in love “uncover” the problem and talk about it with understanding and love. The second step is “Witness Correction” this is where if the person does not understand what has been told them then witnesses are brought in to help clarify what is the problem. The last step and hopefully it never gets to this step is the “Church Correction” this is where the whole church steps in and shares what it knows about the problem. All of this is done with great love, understanding, and most of all lots of prayer.
How are we going to resolve our differences in light of this teaching? May the grace of this Eucharist give us strength.