It is 12th August 2020. The readings are from Ezekiel 9:1-7, 10:18-22; and the Gospel from Matthew 18:15-20.
Are you marked by God? It is unity of the Spirit that offers forgiveness that is a personal process that accommodates the views of the community. Prayer is ineffective in the milieu of unforgiving hearts.
“Touch no one who has the mark. And begin at my sanctuary.” (Ez.9:6). Tau, is the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet, was the form of a cross. It represents a key.
The good people are marked so to be distinguished from the evil ones.
During the maiden Passover of the Hebrews, the doors were marked with blood in Egypt. (Ex.12:7).
St Cyril confesses that this mark will be on the faithful who immersed themselves in the Sacrament of Baptism before the final judgement.
Being marked and chosen by God is a blessing indeed to make the lives of others a joyful one. Let us not confined to a specific space in seeking God rather to encounter God in human relationships and interactions. When we exclude the other person, we expel God from our lives. We are chosen to include others on board in loving, healing and forgiving.
The responsorial Psalm acclaims, “The glory of the Lord is higher than the skies” (Ps.113:4)
The Gospel invites us to examine the way we care and curse those who are not in good terms with us. Some of our relationships have a mark that has impacted our lives in both ways.
The way we handle others during conflicts and misunderstanding, either we heal or hurt the others.
“On the evening of the first day of the week,” Jesus showed himself to his apostles. “He breathed on them and said to them: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained”‘ (Jn 20:19, 22-23).
Reconciliation is God’s initiative through the presence of the Holy Spirit in the community and inspired by motives that are born out of faith.
Mathew proposes three levels of witnesses for reconciliation. Punishment is never intended in this process of healing but the conversion of heart. One on one, with the presence of the witnesses and with a gathering of believing community. The intensity of seriousness is expressed not to ostracize but to re-evangelize and re-welcoming the offender in to the community. It all needs to happen in a prayerful atmosphere. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the middle of them.” Jesus warns us individually and as a Church not to be a scandal and obstacle for another in knowing and loving Christ.
Over-tolerance poisons our compassionate and non-judgmental approach. Reconciliation is not a convenient and compromising issues rather caring confrontation with witnessing lives. The mission of Church in promoting love, justice, truth and peace with compassion and commitment. May the Lord open our heart that we may forgive without limit and conditions as God has forgiven us. Have a lovely day.