Gospel – 8/12/20 – Matthew 18:15-20
Jesus said to his disciples:
“If your brother sins against you,
go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
If he does not listen,
take one or two others along with you,
so that every fact may be established
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the Church.
If he refuses to listen even to the Church,
then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Amen, I say to you,
whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.”
Two things today.
First, in this fractious World we live in, it is easier to go to war, to kill, to maim, to imprison or to form alliances against one another than to go to the person and say, “You have hurt me”, and give them an opportunity to ask forgiveness.
To have a conversation and open yourself up to another – especially, one who has harmed you – isn’t easy, but especially today where it is dangerous to show any vulnerability.
But, it worked at one time until the author of love was taken away and our freedom to worship was restricted. Now, it is right to swords – no quarter given or asked.
Second, the only way we get back to this is through prayer. We have to pray for those who harm us.
We have to pray for the strength to FORGIVE.
At least that’s what I heard Him say…