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AUGUST 11. Wk 19. Ord Time B. Wed. Mt 18. 15-20

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, 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.’


In today’s reading Jesus deals with the sensitive subject of correcting others when they have done wrong. A common attitude in today’s world is to say ‘it is none of my business’ but we are being told this must not be the attitude of Christians in dealing with moral issues.


But we need an appropriate relationship with a person before correcting them - with Jesus referring to the one being corrected as a ‘brother’. It is not right to walk up to someone we do not know and correct them; - but our example will often correct those we do not know!


Christ is our teacher and model. He ‘lived’ what he knew to be the truth, and the Will of God. This is often a better way to “correct others” than walking up and confronting them, especially in today’s society where commonly accepted behaviour is not in accord with Christ’s teachings.


The subject must also be one where there is no doubt about the need for correction, with Christ saying it needed to be “wrong” in the eyes of the Church. In worldly issues there can be debate in determining if an action is wrong; - but not in the case of Christian teachings.


This is an important subject we do not like to deal with, but its seriousness is evident if we consider what the effect is if we do nothing. We immediately become a party to the bad behaviour ourselves!


We see this even in the eyes of society’s laws today, where if a person sees something being done that is wrong, he is frequently charged with being an “accessory” to crime; - and Christ is making the same case when it comes to Christian teachings and laws.


Christ then goes on to state that, in Christian and moral questions the Church is the supreme decision maker when he points out that if the Church declares something true on earth, then it is going to be seen as true in heaven. This stems from Christ’s appointing of Peter to be head of the Church, which is both an earthly and heavenly body.


Gospel Acclamation 2Cor5:19


Alleluia, alleluia!

God was in Christ, to reconcile the world to himself;

and the Good News of reconciliation he has entrusted to us.

Alleluia!





This should be a source of great comfort to Christians as it means we have an earthly organisation that God has guaranteed will always teach the Truth, and we need to reflect on what the situation would be if we did not have this divine guarantee on moral / religious matters.


Human and earthly wisdom would be prone to serious error when determining what is sinful?

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