Lord, help me to care for my sisters and brothers in the community
23rd Week in Ordinary Time : Sunday 10th September 2023
Ez. 33:7-9; Ps. 94:1-2,6-9;
Rom. 13:8-10; Mt. 18:15-20 (Ps.Wk. III)
Jesus’ message today is to care for our brothers and sisters in the community, especially when things go wrong. Give advice, encouragement, and support; love is most significant when a sister or brother is not living a good life.
If that does not work, get a few friends together to intervene, which is done out of love. For St Paul, “Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour.” He also says, “Avoid getting into debt, except the debt of mutual love.” When we reach out in love to someone who has gone astray, it should not prevent that person from responding because he/she knows we do it out of love and our care and concern for him/her.
Love binds the community together. Care and support for each other in the community is manifested in love. When someone goes against this love, he/she withdraws from being part of the community.
That’s why when things go south, which hopefully does not reach this level, “report it to the community, and if he refuses to listen, pray for him.” This is the last resort. Again, it is done out of love for that person, not vengeance. This person has intentionally separated himself/herself from the community.
Lord, help me to care for my sisters and brothers in the community.