14 August 2019. Memorial of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr
Reflection (Sem. Ryan Tristan O. Digan)
The Gospel today is an invitation for each one of us to review our relationship with people especially with our loved ones. As I was reflecting on it, I could not help but be reminded of how I treat my own brother. My brother started to become alcoholic when we were both teenagers. His marriage was cut short because of his vice, but he has two children who is now being raised alone by his wife. I started to hate him when his addiction to alcohol worsened and when he began to throw spiteful words to our lola and to any of the members of our family at home.
Little did I realize that my brother has his own issues in life too and that he was wounded since birth. He grew up not seeing his own father. I was too selfish to focus on all his negative qualities and the problems that he had brought to our family. There was never a single moment that I tried to journey with him and go into his inner being. In our Gospel, Jesus is inviting us to lend our ear to a brother who commits sin and to show our genuine concern to him through “fraternal love” – a love that springs forth from the desire to guide and lead someone who goes astray.
My brother might have committed a lot of sins in life, but I ponder right now on how I have also contributed to his sins as I never listened to him and made him feel the love of a real brother. It is not yet too late though. Perhaps others can also relate to my own story and it is in this that I invite you to do the same; to reflect on the invitation of God for us today. Let us show our fraternal love to each other.
The Gospel Today
Matthew 18: 15 – 20
Jesus said to his disciples:
“If your brother sins against you,
go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
If he does not listen,
take one or two others along with you,
so that every fact may be established
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the Church.
If he refuses to listen even to the Church,
then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Amen, I say to you,
whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.”