Wednesday, August 12, 2015

May we never risk the life of our souls by being resentful or by bearing grudges.

'To the extent that you pray with all your soul for the person who slanders you, God will make the truth known to those who have been scandalized by the slander.'--St. Maximos the Confessor: (580 – 662: Christian monk, theologian, and scholar)

Gospel Text: (MT 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.”

Jesus, in today’s Gospel Reading, explains how His followers can keep from having moral punishment fall upon them. Jesus preaches that His followers must seek reconciliation with each other. He also calls upon us to point out a wrong that may have been committed, especially one which destroys harmony and peace. Correcting others in this way is a very hazardous duty: like almost no other responsibility that we have as Christians, it calls for the virtues of prudence, courage, and meekness. Who can manage this without the help of the Holy Spirit?

Jesus also urges us to pray together. Individual prayer is indispensable, and Jesus elsewhere in the Gospel commands us to go to our rooms and pray in private: but that’s not the limit of our prayer. Where two or three are gathered in Jesus’ Name, He is there in their midst. But we also know that where two or three are gathered for the Mass, Jesus is not only there in our midst, but becomes present in a way that we can receive Him: Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity.

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