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Sunday, September 7, 2008

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23rd Sunday Ordinary Time

Ezekiel 33:7-9
Romans 13:8-10
Psalm 95
Matthew 18:15-20

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correcting papers

"If your brother should commit some wrong against you, go and point out his fault, but keep it between the two of you." —Matthew 18:15

Because we know Jesus the Truth (see Jn 14:6), we are responsible to tell the truth. We must "speak out to dissuade the wicked man from his way," or God will hold us "responsible for his death" (Ez 33:8). In a world with so much sin, we face a formidable task to speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15). Nonetheless, we must do this to obey God, to help others to repent, and to avoid being responsible for the deaths of sinners. To speak truth, we must:

  1. Decide to totally live for Jesus the Truth.
  2. Repent of our sins (see Mt 7:5).
  3. Accept correction ourselves (see Sir 21:6).
  4. Pray for those we see sinning (1 Jn 5:16).
  5. Love sinners and hate sin.
  6. Gently and humbly correct those who are doing wrong (Gal 6:1).

Very few Christians want to confront and correct sinners. When we do so, we usually speak from anger or frustration. However, the Lord repeatedly commands us to correct each other (see Mt 18:15; Lk 17:3; Gal 6:1). If we obey Him, He will grace us and those we correct. Trust Him. Repent, obey, and correct.

Prayer:  Father, give me such a thirst for holiness (Mt 5:6) that I will appreciate both giving and receiving correction.

Promise:  "Owe no debt to anyone except the debt that binds us to love one another." —Rm 13:8

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus, Who blessed us with the charge to continue His mission here on earth.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Accepting Correction on audio AV 77-1 or video V-77.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 25, 2008

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