23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I: Ezekiel 33 II: Romans 13:8-10
Matthew 18:15-20

15 "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
18 Truly, 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.
19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

Interesting Details
One Main Point

Jesus is not just one in a crowd, but He is in the midst of a community - as small as a family or as big as the Church - because the soul of the community is love and love creates unity. The goal of the three-step procedure for reconciliation is to win the erring brother back to the community of love and unity, even the drastic step of excommunication is to jolt the offender into reconciliation with the community.

  1. What is your approach in reconciling with an enemy?
  2. How does the Church follow Jesus' teaching in excommunicating a member? What is your own attitude and the attitude of your community toward such a case?
  3. When joining in prayer with your community, do you experience God's presence and motivation? How do you feel during a payer session if you still have conflicts with some members in the praying community?
  4. Are you a cross that others have to bear? Why?

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A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community

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