OMELIE / Omelie EN

10/09/2017 – 23rd Sunday of O.T.  - year A

10/09/2017 – 23rd Sunday of O.T.  - year A

1st reading.  Ezechiel 33,7-9  from Psalm  94/95  2nd reading  Rom 13,8-10  Gospel  Mt 18,15-20

How do Christians behave towards their brothers? They should be able to live together, to help each other in order to put Jesus’ teachings into practice, to be Church united to show God’s glory. They should consider themselves brothers, not only in theory but also in practice, even when Jesus will not be physically with them any more. Indeed, Jesus takes care of this too. He knows that those who are or will be his disciples are and will always be sinners still, that they will not be able to obey Him every single day, that selfishness will tempt them fiercely, and that they will yield from time to time, hurting each other. Indeed he once said: “Stay awake, and pray not to be put to the test”. Jesus knows that his companions are not deep-dyed saints yet: all of them will need to keep growing and mature in love. But in the meantime? If someone commits a sin and offends somebody else or harms them, should they be left alone? Should we pretend nothing happened? Or maybe will be necessary to burn ours bridges with them? All these problems are taken care of by the Lord. And when Matthew was writing his Gospel, the faithful were already living His teaching.

If your brother does something wrong” the harm is not only done to you, but – first of all – is done to he himself and to all the community, and above all to God the Father, Who is not glorified by that kind of behaviour. So, what should be done? It is necessary to help that brother to backtrack, in order for him not to hinder any more the fulfilment and the manifestation of the kingdom of Heaven. “Be discreet” Jesus says “talk to him face to face, maybe he will thank you. If instead he does not welcome you and he does not accept your love, ask for the help of somebody else, or a couple more. They will have more evidence to show, or maybe a more welcoming tone, or more understanding. If that brother is really stubborn and he does not accept comments, do not give up: that brother needs to be saved at all costs. Ask for the intervention of the entire community. Does he not listen to that as well? He will have to leave it, it is going to be like he was a pagan, with whom you will not have anything to do. In that way maybe he will understand how serious his situation is.” Unfortunately, there are a lot of people like this, posing as Christians, but they do not listen to the comments of the community and its leaders. You should not have anything to do with them, otherwise they will ruin your faith too.

Jesus’ warning is very serious. And it is also justifiable. As a matter of fact, those things that the Church will “bind on earth will be bound in heaven”, and, as well, “whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven”. There is God’s authority on Earth. It is a great mystery, the fact that God could trust men so much that He gave them an authority so rich in love! Love indeed, because God’s authority is the way in which He loves us. This mystery deserves a deeper explanation and revelation. This is the reason why Jesus keeps talking: “For where two or three meet in my name, I am there among them”. This is why men have God’s authority, because among them there is the Son, seated at the right hand of the Father!

Where two or three meet in my name: there the presence of the lord is sure, true, strong and guaranteed. Jesus used very few words, but, because of this, very well weighted, to be fully understood one by one. Two or three is a small number, the minimum necessary: there is a relationship there, it is possible to live the new commandment there, it is possible to love one another there. One it is not enough, not even if he is a Saint, not even if he is great, if he is rich or poor. Only: “two or three”. And they have to meet: they have to be together, they CAME together, and in order to come together they had to leave they solitude, they had to shake off their laziness, they had to start moving one towards the other starting with a demonstration of love; they took some steps: every each one of them gave up something of theirs, they left their own comfort zone to enter the environment of the other. And all of this “in my name”, that is to say towards the name of Jesus, looking forward to Him, for His sake. Jesus has become more important than me and you. Behold, this is the <place> where Jesus guarantees His presence as Risen. If here he is present, here He also performs His miracles, here He gives away His wisdom, here He builds His kingdom, here He manifests His Church. Are you a faithful? Are you trying to meet up with the other faithful to give to Jesus a place in which He can be present? If you love Jesus you will make time, you will find a way, you will find brothers in order to come together with them in the name of Jesus. That will possibly be the occasion to pray together, or to read the Gospel together, or to plan some charity activity for the poor or the sick, for children or for parents, for young people or for your peers. If you love Jesus there will not be difficulties any more, only the joy to serve Him making Him present in your town, in your neighbourhood, in your apartment block, in your holiday spot or place of work. If you love Jesus…you will become someone who loves his neighbour: you will be able to give corrections to someone else, to accept the comments that others will make you, and you will give to Jesus a concrete place: this is the greatest love you can live for your brothers!