Sunday 6 September 2020
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Ezekiel 33:7-9. O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your hearts – Psalm 94(95):1-2, 6-9. Romans 13:8-10. Matthew 18:15-20.
Are we ready to hear the hurt?
We need courage to confront a person who has caused us pain and distress, a person who has sinned against us. It can often feel easier or justifiable to complain to other people about the ‘problem person’. For a little while, talking about the person rather than to the person can ease the pain.
Yet the wisdom of Matthew’s Gospel reminds us of the conversation that must happen ‘between you and him alone’. A careful, just and age-old process allows the sinner multiple opportunities to acknowledge their sins and return to the way of good. It begins with that first conversation. We might reflect how these difficult conversations feel for us when we are the one doing the ‘sinning’.
Whether we knowingly or unwittingly hurt a loved one, are we ready to hear the hurt, to understand the cost? Do we have the courage to accept our failings, seek forgiveness and return to the way of love and good?