The Gospel for today, the 23rd Sunday of Ordinary time, calls us to take effort over our brother, our sister – especially if we think they have gone wrong.
Jesus said, ‘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.’
Picking up on yesterday’s reference to the parable of the good Samaritan:
- Who is your brother? Who is your sister?
- How by your actions have you set them free?
- How and why, by your actions, have you ‘bound’ them?
Image of Ss Stephen and Laurence (martyr ministers of charity) is from the reredos in the church of San Jeronimo, Granada. (c) Allen Morris, 2014.