Readings and Gospel 6.9.20 – “where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there amongst them”

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 127

Reading 1

Thus says the LORD:
You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel;
when you hear me say anything, you shall warn them for me.
If I tell the wicked, “O wicked one, you shall surely die, ”
and you do not speak out to dissuade the wicked from his way,
the wicked shall die for his guilt,
but I will hold you responsible for his death.
But if you warn the wicked,
trying to turn him from his way,
and he refuses to turn from his way,
he shall die for his guilt,
but you shall save yourself.

Responsorial Psalm

R. (8) If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
“Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
they tested me though they had seen my works.”
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Reading 2

Brothers and sisters:
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another;
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery;
you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet, ”
and whatever other commandment there may be,
are summed up in this saying, namely,
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Love does no evil to the neighbor;
hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Jesus said to his disciples:
“If your brother sins against you,
go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
If he does not listen,
take one or two others along with you,
so that ‘every fact may be established
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church.
If he refuses to listen even to the church,
then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Amen, I say to you,
whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again, amen, I say to you,
if two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.”

If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.”  Matthew 18:15

This passage above offers the first of three steps Jesus offers to reconcile with someone who has sinned against you.  The steps Jesus offers are as follows: 1) Speak privately to the person. 2) Bring two or three others to help with the situation. 3) Bring it to the Church.  If after trying all three steps you are not able to reconcile, then Jesus says, “…treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.”

The first and most important point to mention in this process of reconciliation is that we should keep the sin of another quiet, between them and us, until we have sincerely tried to reconcile.  This is hard to do!  So often when someone sins against us, the first temptation we have is to go forth and tell others about it.  This may be done out of hurt, anger, a desire for revenge, or the like.  So the first lesson we should learn is that the sins another commits against us are not details we have a right to tell others about, at least not at first.

The next important steps offered by Jesus do involve others and the Church.  But not so that we can express our anger, gossip or criticism or to bring them public humiliation.  Rather, the steps of involving others are done so as to assist another in repentance, so that the person in error sees the gravity of the sin.  This takes humility on our part.  It requires a humble attempt to help them not only see their error but to also change.

The final step, if they do no change, is to treat them like a Gentile or tax collector.  But even this must be understood properly.  How do we treat a Gentile or tax collector?  We treat them with a desire for their continued conversion.  We treat them with continued respect, while at the same time acknowledge that we are not “on the same page.”

Reflect, today, upon any relationship you have that requires healing and reconciliation.  Seek to follow this humble process given by our Lord and continue to remain hopeful that the grace of God will prevail.

Lord, give me a humble and merciful heart so that I may reconcile with those who have sinned against me.  I forgive them, dear Lord, just as You have forgiven me.  Give me the grace to seek reconciliation in accord with Your perfect will.  Jesus, I trust in You.


From Catholic Daily