brother. If he doesn’t listen to you, take with you one or two others, so that the case may be
decided by the evidence of two or three witnesses. And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it
to the assembled Church. But if he does not listen to the Church, then regard him as a pagan,
or a tax collector. I say to you: whatever you bind on earth, heaven will keep bound; and
whatever you unbind on earth, heaven will keep unbound. In like manner, I say to you, if, on
earth, two of you agree in asking for anything, it will be granted to you by my heavenly Father;
for where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there, among them.”
READ: Ezekiel receives a prophet’s mission: to call the people to conversion,
to turning away from a life of wickedness. Paul summarizes the law for the
Romans, stating that the law is fulfilled in love. In the Gospel, Jesus offers
an advice about healing breaches in the community, assuring his faithful
ones of his continuing presence.
REFLECT: When I was a child, the worst name you could be called was
“tattletale.” Once you were branded with that name, it was hard to find
anyone to play with. Prophets often had the same problem. Because they
told people truths that they didn’t want to hear, they – along with their
messages – were often rejected. But there is a big difference between
tattletales and prophets. Tattletales are trying to get others into trouble.
Prophets are trying to keep people out of trouble by calling them to turn to
the Lord. Prophets lovingly speak the truth that God has put on their hearts.
Jesus gives a similar task to the Church. He asks its leaders and members to
speak the truth in love to everyone they meet, gently calling people to turn
to the Lord who loves them.
PRAY: God, may I always speak your truth in love.
ACT: Take great care this week to measure your words carefully before speaking.
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