for Sunday, September 4, 2011
Today we are given instructions by our Lord Jesus about how to relate to
one another in the area of correction. This is always a very delicate
matter between us human beings. So often we feel humiliated if we are
corrected by another person. So often we can feel put down or seen as no
good or seen as a failure when we are corrected by another person. Jesus
is telling us that correction is kind of a normal thing in our Christian
Correction is normal because we are humans and thus liable to make
mistakes or to over - react or to judge others. The first rule of correction
is discretion. Don't put things in public unless they need to be in
public. The Prophet Ezekiel reminds us that we have responsibility for one
another. If we see someone doing evil and do not correct that person, then
we become co - responsible for the evil.
Today we see clearly what happens when no correction is made to those who
do evil. The sex abuse scandals are truly scandals. No one wanted to
correct others. People were uneasy about talking about such things.
Others thought that if such a person were just moved to a different
situation, things might work out. So many inadequate ways of dealing with
this problem of sexual were tried because of human respect and an
unfortunate type of respect for the priesthood or religious life.
The Letter to the Romans tells us today that we should owe nothing to
anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has
fulfilled the law. True love, however, corrects the one who is loved.
True love accepts correction when there is clearly error.
Matthew's Gospel only adds that after trying to correct someone privately
and by oneself, if there is no response, then more people must be brought
in to help. Once again we see discretion. If a few people cannot convince
another person that there is something wrong, then we must turn to the
Church and have the whole congregation testify to the person. If that does
not work, then we can see clearly that the person is not choosing to walk
with us in Christ and so we drop the matter and let the person go. Butů.
We must have done our best first to bring the person back to the right
Our Lord Christ does not let us have a life of prayer without
responsibility for others. We must speak up, even when we feel foolish or
perhaps out of place or perhaps intimidated. But if something is wrong, we
May our Lord Jesus help us grow as responsible followers who are not
afraid to speak the truth with love.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: