“If another member of the church[a] sins against you,[b] go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one.[c] 16 But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”-Matthew 18:15-20 NRSV
It Is Their Fault
The Gospel from today’s Mass shows us a lot about interpersonal communication and the role of the church. It is is something that seems to have gone by the wayside today. When there is a disagreement, no matter who is at fault, what is the thing to do? Unfortunately it isn’t what scripture says to do.
Instead we go to social media in an effort to bury and ruin the other person’s reputation. How many relationships have been affected by one or both parties blasting the other instead of going to each other first? It could have been a minor misunderstanding that could have easily been remedied. Instead reputations have been sacrificed.
It Doesn’t Matter Whose Fault It Is (Application)
Over the past couple days I have seen long time friends unfriend, disparage, and downright slander one another online. Today’s Gospel is calling us to a higher standard. From an evangelization standpoint, these kind of online attitudes do nothing to further the cause of the faith. They hinder it.
This doesn’t mean that we will always agree with each other. We won’t. This proven times and again when the election cycle begins.
Be kind and considerate. We are called to a higher standard of conduct. People are watching to see how we react to each other and will gauge the faith based on that.
Today’s Gospel is especially focused on sin, and I opted to focus on online slander. It can apply to most anything. Try to talk it out because what is said online can never be undone.
“The saints did not all begin well, but they ended well.” St. John Vianney
“Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be – and becoming that person.” St. Thérèse of Lisieux
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta
“True charity consists in doing good to those who do us evil, and in thus winning them over.” St. Alphonsus Liguori