Someone smarter than me said to me recently,”Pope Francis is trying to change the Papacy but he doesn’t yet understand the Papacy changes YOU”. Anyone can comment in my combox, it doesn’t mean I will approve it. After all, I pay for every expense on this blog so I consider myself the owner and I alone have the right to decide who and what is said in my combox. Sorry for the attitude, just a little beat up lately.
Read below if you truly want to learn something:
Sunday, 4 September 2011
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The biblical Readings of Mass this Sunday converge on the theme of brotherly love in the community of believers whose source lies in the communion of the Trinity. The Apostle Paul says that the whole Law of God finds fullness in love, so that in our relationships with others the Ten Commandments and every other precept are summed up in these words: “Love your neighbour as yourself” (cf. Rom 13:8-10).
The Gospel text from chapter 18 of Matthew on the life of the Christian community tells us that brotherly love also involves a sense of mutual responsibility. For this reason if my brother commits a sin against me I must treat him charitably and first of all, speak to him privately, pointing out that what he has said or done is wrong. This approach is known as “fraternal correction”: it is not a reaction to the offence suffered but is motivated by love for one’s brethren.
St Augustine comments: “Whoever has offended you, in offending you, has inflicted a serious injury upon himself; and would you not care for a brother’s injury?… You must forget the offence you have received but not the injury of one of your brethren (Discourse 82, 7).
And what if my brother does not listen to me? In today’s Gospel Jesus points to a gradual approach: first, speak to him again with two or three others, the better to help him realize what he has done; if, in spite of this, he still refuses to listen, it is necessary to tell the community; and if he refuses to listen even to the community, he must be made to perceive that he has cut himself off by separating himself from the communion of the Church.
All this demonstrates that we are responsible for each other in the journey of Christian life; each person, aware of his own limitations and shortcomings, is called to accept fraternal correction and to help others with this specific service.
Another fruit of love in the community is unanimous prayer. Jesus said: “If two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in Heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Mt 18:19-20). Personal prayer is of course important, indeed indispensable, but the Lord guarantees his presence to the community — even if it is very small — which is united and in agreement, because this reflects the very reality of the Triune God, perfect communion of love. Origen says “we should practise this symphony” (Commentary on the Gospel according to Matthew, 14,1), in other words this harmony within the Christian community. We should practise both fraternal correction — which demands deep humility and simplicity of heart — and prayer so that it may rise to God from a community truly united in Christ.
Let us ask all this through the intercession of Mary Most Holy, Mother of the Church and of St Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor, whom we commemorated in the liturgy yesterday.