CACINA

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on September 4, 2011

Gospel reading of the day:

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.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: This passage from Matthew’s gospel reflects on how we live as church. It focuses on the need for reconciliation among the people of God as we, who regularly stray, strive to be people attuned to the life of God. It is a three-pronged plan for healing the body of Christ when divisions occur among its members. When divisions arise because one individual wrongs another, the gospel proposes that we should seek to resolve the problem as individuals who go to one another and find a solution that remedies the issue. If this first stage doesn’t achieve the objective, the gospel counsels us to bring the matter to several witnesses who can constructively contribute to the dialogue. Failing this approach, we are advised to lay the matter before the whole community. If the individual refuses to listen to the wisdom of the entire church, the community has the power to separate that person from the rest of the body. But of course, we know from elsewhere in the gospels that even this dramatic step is open to remediation, because the body of Christ always is ready to forgive and reunite with its prodigals.

Spiritual reading: The choice of every lost soul can be expressed in the words, “Better to reign in Hell than serve in heaven.” There is always something they insist on keeping, even at the price of misery. There is always something they prefer to joy. . . . (The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis)

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