Meditation – 10th September 2017

The Deep End – Community Living
No community is without its problems. Wherever
two or three are gathered, there will be two or three
different opinions!
Today’s Gospel has a valuable message about
community. When we think of our own parish or
church community, we might feel uncomfortable
with the advice on how to deal with sin. But this
passage is just as relevant now as it was to the early
Church. First of all, it acknowledges that the Church
is not perfect; it is made up of sinners, who will go
astray and disagree at different times. It emphasises
the importance of dialogue – if a brother (or sister)
sins, the first step is to discuss it with them, and then
to enlist the help of the community if necessary.
Presumably the other members will do the same for
you, if and when you need it. We all have a
responsibility, as members of the Church, to help
those who are struggling or lost.
If you have a few spare minutes, read the
passages that come immediately before and after this
one in Matthew’s Gospel. Before, the parable of the
lost sheep tells us that God rejoices when one who
has gone astray is found. After, Jesus tells us we
should forgive each other as many as seventy-seven
times. The context is God’s generous love and
forgiveness, on which we are expected to model our
Church. Jesus is present where two or three are
gathered in his name – even with our human struggles
and disagreements and sins. We have a responsibility
to be present to each other, and to forgive one
another. That’s what it means to be Christ’s Church.
Tríona Doherty