The Community of which Christ is the Center
By: Father Ernie Varosi CR, posted: 2014-09-02
The overriding theme in each of the readings for this 23rd Sunday is about reconciliation, forgiveness, caring concern, community, the debt of love. In other words, all those things that bind the Christian community together; it is the glue, the paste, the common bond that forms the community of which Christ is the center.
It is so clear in our following of Jesus that we must be involved in the lives of our sisters and brothers. We are called to be proclaiming our faith and to stating clearly what is right and what is wrong. As Paul reminds us: "If your brother or sister sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the brother or sister listens to you, you have regained that one."
Jesus is teaching that forgiveness, not retaliation, is to be the mark of his community. Jesus also says that the process of forgiveness within the community is progressive and persistent. Forgiveness begins between just the two parties; then "two or three witnesses" are brought forth and finally the whole community is invited into the process. It sounds like the whole church is supposed to invest itself in the important moment of forgiveness.
The forgiveness Jesus describes unifies a community. The love of God and therefore the love of neighbor are what forces the truth to come out. Love is to be our motivation to be the prophets of our own day.
The Eucharist that we celebrate, the table around which we gather, the Body and Blood of Christ that we are to consume is what binds us to each other, that calls us deeper and deeper into Truth itself. May we continue to be so bold as to say Amen to It.
"Heavenly Father, forgive me for putting myself first. By your Spirit, teach me how to love. Father, unite all your children as one!"