Fraternal correction” Reflection for 23 Sunday of the Year
Today’s Good News as told by Matthew is about how to deal with sin committed by people closest to us, using fraternal or brotherly reprimand.
Ok, this method is for the sin against the objective truth, where there is no doubt that there is wrongdoing in light of Christ’s way. It doesn’t deal with personal hurt – for that tune in next week.
Ok, so how to do this properly?
Firstly, you have to be sincerely concerned for the soul of a person and his or her conscience. Do it gently, relaying on the truth as taught by the Church.
If there is no result, the warning has to be confirmed with credible witnesses, who will reaffirm your good intentions and sound teaching.
The opinion of the community is very important, as no Christian ever stands alone; we stand together as a Church, with clear doctrine with Christ himself and faith of all generations who had gone before us.
Finally the admonition must convince the trespasser that the mercy of God is not only greater than every kind of evil, but that it is infinite. This infinity of mercy is the purest source of hope for us all sinners.
That’s is. It’s simple isn’t it?
Of course it isn’t, we often don’t feel authority to rebuke fellow men or women.
And that’s why Jesus is giving us another way: pray to him for your brother and sister, for the light of truth for them so they may see and understand their sin and do this in community of people who care for the sinner in question, because where two or three gather in Jesus’s name, there he is with them and: if two of us on earth agree about anything we ask for, it will be done for us by Jesus’s Father in heaven. Amen.