August 12, 2020 (Wednesday of week 19 Year II)
…You have gained…
Dear friends in Christ, just like we count gains and losses in business dealings, we may also look at relationships and spiritual growth from the same angle. To make a gain in anything is to have progressed from one point to another. What sort of gains have you made spiritually and in your relationships since this year started?
Today’s first reading (Ezekiel 9:1-7; 10:18-22) reveals the sign of the cross as a mark of salvation, “Go all through the city, all through Jerusalem, and mark a cross on the foreheads of all who deplore and disapprove of all the filth practiced in it.” All those without this sign on their forehead were doomed to destruction beginning from the sanctuary. May God not deal with us as our sins deserve. Amen. Long before Christianity, this vision of Ezekiel reveals how privileged the cross on the forehead will be for those who are faithful. It is time to examine your conscience if that emblem of the cross will appear on your forehead as one who detests and disapprove of the filth in the world today.
In the gospel (Matthew 18:15-20) Jesus lays down steps to reconciliation for his disciples. In the first place, the offended should approach the offender one on one. Many issues linger because the parties involved are not ready to talk to each other and sometimes the one who is offended thinks the offender was deliberate which might not be. Approaching alone could bring a resolution; but Jesus knows there are situations where that may not be enough. So he says, “take one or two along with you…” The other person must see the seriousness then but if that fails, he says, “tell it to the church.” The church here might also be seen as any community to which you both belong and in case that fails, he says, “Let him be to you as a Gentile or a Tax Collector.” That then looks like a reason to abandon the case and feel you have done enough. That however is not. How did Jesus treat Tax Collectors? The writer of this Gospel was a Tax Collector before he became an Apostle. What did he do to Gentiles? He went out of his way to seek out these two groups. You may have presumed till now that the offender knows he has offended you or at the most, that he is a believer. Now you can be sure that he is either not a believer or not a real believer and that makes him a fresh ground for evangelisation. Never give up on forgiving someone, God has not give up on you.
Let us pray: Teach us Lord to follow your path in forgiving others. Give us the courage and the patience that is needed. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.