In today’s Gospel St. Matthew (18:15-20) tells us that Jesus speaks of a common occurrence in the Christian community: a dispute between two members of the Church. Jesus outlines a procedure for settling such matters fairly. The victim should privately address the offender and attempt to resolve the dispute without outside involvement. If that fails, then the victim should bring two or three witnesses and confront the offender again. If the dispute is still unresolved, the matter should be brought to the attention of the entire community. If the offender refuses to adhere to the reparations prescribed by the community, then Jesus suggests that the offender may be expelled from the Church.
Jesus does not discourage disagreement within the community of the Church; he acknowledges the reality of conflict and error and offers his disciples a means for addressing such matters. It is in the conclusion to this teaching that the message of hope is found – Jesus is present with the community and will guide the community in its relations. If decisions are taken in prayer, then the community can be assured of God’s assistance.
At a time when Twitter, You Tube and Facebook have members of the Church not just disagreeing, but doing so publicly and in a way that hurts not builds up the Body of Christ we need to reflect on our own response to Jesus. Yes, we may disagree but we do so in fraternal love and with prayer and respect for those who disagree with us, not with hurtful words and negative actions. So, let us trust in the Lord’s words and remember where two or three meet in his name in person or online, the Lord has promised that he will be with us.
Mass today will be at 10.00am and you are welcome to join us online.
This week’s newsletter can be found here.
Please note that St. Teilo’s will be open for Mass at 10.00am today, Tuesday, Thursday and next Sunday. We are full for today’s Mass, but if you would like to book for Tuesday, Thursday or next Sunday please telephone Carole on 07747 562847 between 11am and 1pm, tomorrow, Monday, September 7th.