"You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel; when you hear Me say anything, you shall warn them for Me." —Ezekiel 33:7
When we see someone sinning, we must repent of our own sins (Mt 7:5), petition God to give life to the sinner (1 Jn 5:16), and warn the person sinning. If we don't do this, we might be held responsible for the sinner's death (Ez 33:8).
If the person sinning is a Christian, we should warn him in a personal conversation just between the two of us (Mt 18:15). This usually works, especially if we don't tell anyone else, even our spouse, about the sin. If this personal warning doesn't result in repentance, we should meet with the person sinning and two or three witnesses (Mt 18:16-17). This will usually clear up any misunderstanding and be a stronger call to repentance. If this doesn't work, we should refer the situation to the Church (Mt 18:17). After informing the person sinning, we should refer it to the leader, pastor, bishop, and/or apostolic delegate. Their responsibility is to take it from there. Then we should repent of our sins and petition the Lord to give life to the sinner (see 1 Jn 5:16). "Again I tell you, if two of you join your voices on earth to pray for anything whatever, it shall be granted you by My Father in heaven" (Mt 18:19).
Prayer: Father, may I love people enough to tell them the truth (Eph 4:15). May I repent of the selfishness of permissiveness.
Promise: "Love never wrongs the neighbor, hence love is the fulfillment of the law." —Rm 13:10
Praise: Alleluia! Because we believe in Jesus risen, we will be saved (Rm 10:9) and be risen from the dead! Alleluia!
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet The Secret of Confession or on audio AV 44-3 or video V-44.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 19, 2014
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