23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Pius X | News
8 Sep 2017

The question in today’s Gospel is not forgiveness, but the sin of one member of the community. This passage raises a very practical issue: how to act when someone close to us is treating us badly. Obviously, these kind of problems occurred even in the first Christian community. Today’s Gospel gives us a way of tackling a problem like this. We begin by keeping it to ourselves. It may be that we are ashamed or simply unable to talk about it to anyone. So, we pretend that everything is normal. Meanwhile we brood over the injury. This tends to magnify it. We become sullen and sour and depressed, and may cut the offender off as a kind of revenge. Then we start to tell others to get them on our side. And in many cases, the last person to hear about the hurt is often the person who is causing it. The gospel shows us another approach to this. We should confront the person who is causing the hurt. We might not want to confront the person, but failure to do so shows a lack of love for the person. Confrontation takes courage and involves risk. But sometimes a little honest talking may clear the air. The person may not be aware of the extent of the hurt he or she is causing. They may see the light at once, and you may have won them over. Reconciliation can happen and it leads to great growth for both parties. Reconciliation is hard, but for that reason it should not be left untried.