Twenty-third Sunday Ordinary Time 2017
As Christians, we believe that God sent his only Son to forgive us. Today’s Gospel reminds us that we are a Church of forgiven sinners and that we are called to forgive as we have been forgiven.
We are offered a way to forgiveness and based on a sincere love for each other in the Christian community. First comes a conversation between just two people. Sometimes that initial conversation, which shows respect and concern, is enough to remedy the situation. Was there a misjudgment or misunderstanding to question another in the community? If it seems necessary and for the good of the people in question, then a very few more might be called into the dialogue to discern the way to healing together. If the larger community also becomes concerned for a member that might need intervention or special help or appears to have lost the way, it will act appropriately for the wellbeing of all involved. The people affected should be treated with the love and compassion as Jesus showed for Gentiles and tax collectors who turned to him, and in that way, bring them healing and when possible, back into communion.
Forgiveness heals. We who were bound have been healed and set free by the Lord’s forgiveness. Within the community we are called to share what we have received. As we have fallen and were forgiven, so we forgive and help to lift our brothers and sisters if they fall. Total agreement or reconciliation might not be possible, but we stand together with forgiveness in our hearts, because when we do, the Lord is in our midst.
Fr. Joseph Jablonski, MSC