Gospel: Matthew 18:15-20
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, is between your two selves.
If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.
If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you:
the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain any charge.
But if he refuses to listen to these,
report it to the community;
and if he refuses to listen to the community,
treat him like a pagan or a tax collector.
‘I tell you solemnly, whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.
‘I tell you solemnly once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven.
For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them.’
The Gospel of the Lord.
Fr Donal Neary, S.J
Gospel Reflections for the Year of Matthew
Each other’s keepers
In any group, small and big, things cause friction. Everyone thinks his or her way is right. We can fight over who is right. Some things are worth a fight, others not.
In the big questions of life, we need the advice, support and love of the other. Many people ask themselves, “Why I didn’t give an honest opinion about a decision like marriage or a job or a course of studies which seemed ill-advised to everyone?’ We all have good and not-so-good tendencies. We can only advise as best we can, sensitively and wisely, and hope we get a hearing.
We are afraid to hurt, to be rejected. Why do we let so many people drink themselves into trouble and never tell them? The terror of a neighbourhood, no matter what age, needs to be confronted. The problem of drugs in a neighbourhood is not confronted. Crime is not reported.
In small and big things we are each others’ keepers. Jesus is saying something like that today. Parents can find this difficult as they try to guide the family well and not lose them. We have social responsibility in the family and in the neighbourhood and even worldwide for the common good.
God wants the best for each of us. We can help each other to goodness, we can support each other, advise each other, pray for and with each other, and help each other on our way to God.
Recall an occasion when another gave good advice,
even when you may not have liked it at the beginning. Be grateful!
Give me wisdom, Lord, when others ask me for advice or an opinion.
Gospel and Gosple Reflection are taken from Mass Readings and Sunday Homily - Catholicireland.net.