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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Deut 34:1-12): Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, the headland of Pisgah which faces Jericho, and the Lord showed him all the land, Gilead, and as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negeb, the circuit of the Jordan with the lowlands at Jericho, city of palms, and as far as Zoar. The Lord then said to him, «This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that I would give to their descendants. I have let you feast your eyes upon it, but you shall not cross over».

So there, in the land of Moab, Moses, the servant of the Lord, died as the Lord had said; and he was buried in the ravine opposite Beth-peor in the land of Moab, but to this day no one knows the place of his burial. Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were undimmed and his vigor unabated. For thirty days the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab, till they had completed the period of grief and mourning for Moses.

Now Joshua, son of Nun, was filled with the spirit of wisdom, since Moses had laid his hands upon him; and so the children of Israel gave him their obedience, thus carrying out the Lord's command to Moses. Since then no prophet has arisen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. He had no equal in all the signs and wonders the Lord sent him to perform in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh and all his servants and against all his land, and for the might and the terrifying power that Moses exhibited in the sight of all Israel.
Responsorial Psalm: 65
R/. Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth; sing praise to the glory of his name; proclaim his glorious praise. Say to God: «How tremendous are your deeds!».

Come and see the works of God, his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam. Bless our God, you peoples; loudly sound his praise.

Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare what he has done for me. When I appealed to him in words, praise was on the tip of my tongue.
Versicle before the Gospel (2Cor 5:19): Alleluia. God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mt 18,15-20): Jesus said to his disciples, «If your brother or sister has sinned against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are in private, and if he listens to you, you have won your brother. If you are not listened to, take with you one or two others so that the case may be decided by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he still refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembled Church. But if he does not listen to the Church, then regard such a one as a pagan or a publican. I say to you: whatever you bind on earth, heaven will keep bound; and whatever you unbind on earth, heaven will keep unbound. In like manner, I say to you: if on earth two of you are united in asking for anything, it will be granted to you by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered in my Name, I am there among them».

«If your brother or sister has sinned against you, go and point out the fault (...). Where two or three are gathered in my Name, I am there among them»

Fr. Pedro-José YNARAJA i Díaz (El Montanyà, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, in this brief evangelic fragment, the Lord teaches us three frequently ignored but important ways to proceed.

Understanding and advice for the friend or colleague. To warn him, in discreet intimacy («the two of you in private»), clearly («point out the fault»), of his erroneous attitude so that he can revitalize his way of life. Eventually, if the first advice did not result in anything positive, to get also a friend's collaboration. But if even in this way his conversion cannot be achieved and his sin causes great scandal, we must not doubt to exert the prophetic and public act of denouncing that, today, may just be a letter to a publication's director, or a demonstration or a banner. However, this way of acting is very demanding for whoever practicing it, and frequently, ungrateful and awkward. This is why so many find it much easier to choose what we wrongly call “Christian charity”, which is nothing but pure escapism, comfort, cowardice, false tolerance. In fact, «the same punishment awaits evildoers than the complacent who tolerate them» (St. Bernard).

Every Christian has the right to demand from us priests the forgiveness of God and his Church. At a given moment, a psychologist may appease your state of mind; a psychiatrist, through medical care, can defeat an endogenous disorder. Both can therefore be very useful though, at times, prove to be insufficient. For God only may forgive, remove, forget, smash while destroying, the personal sin. And only his Church can tie or untie demeanours, while transcending Heaven’s judgment. And, thanks to all this enjoy an internal peace and start to be happy.

In the priest's hands and words lie the privilege of taking the bread for Jesus-Eucharist to actually become immanence and food. Any disciple from the Kingdom may join another one, or better still, many more, and with fervor, Faith, courage and Hope, submerge into the world to transform it in the true body of Jesus-Mystic. And in his company go to God Father that will listen to our pleas, for his Son promised us so, «for where two or three are gathered in my Name, I am there among them» (Mt 18:20).