THEME: If your brother does something wrong, reprove him and, if he is sorry, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times a day and seven times comes back to you and says, “I am sorry,” you must forgive him.’
BY: Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA.
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
*FROM OUR FIRST READING*
In our first reading today, we hear how, St. Paul told St. Titus to help him assist in maintaining the Church in Crete in how to appoint faithful, good and responsible elders of the Church, who were without defect or scandal, and those considered for the position ought to be free of worldly attachments, corruption of sin and other things that can become serious barriers and things that invalidate their selection as the overseers or elders of the Christian community and Church. This is in fact how the Church was governed and managed in its very earliest days.
*FROM OUR GOSPEL READING*
The gospel has three parts to it. In the first part Jesus warns against the danger of leading others astray. We are to watch ourselves for the sake of others. We have a responsibility for each other, and, in particular, for each other’s relationship with the Lord. We have the awesome possibility of helping to open up others to the Lord or placing an obstacle to their relationship with the Lord. The second part of the gospel reading calls on us to be ready to forgive those who do wrong us if they ask for forgiveness, and to be ready to do that not just once but seven times. It is in response to both of those quiet different but equally demanding teachings of Jesus that in the third part of the gospel reading the disciples turn to him and say, ‘Increase our faith’. They sense that the call of the gospel is beyond them and so they ask for an increase in faith.
We can all feel at times that the call of the gospel is more than we can rise to. We may be very aware of ways that we block others from meeting the Lord and ways that we fail to forgive when forgiveness is asked for. Yet, Jesus declares that God can work powerfully through faith as small as a mustard seed. We are not to underestimate the faith in the Lord we do have and the ways that the Lord is working powerfully through that faith. We need to acknowledge the faith we have, especially at those times when we are tempted to think that our faith is terribly impoverished. I wish everyone a Blessed Week ahead.