Scripture Reading Reflection: Sept. 4

By Fr. Andrew Kelly

In last Sunday’s Gospel Jesus said “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

Assuming the community is serious about Jesus’ cross, in this Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 18:15-20) Jesus gives a very practical example of what life is like under the shadow of the cross.  The community is always reconciled.  If not, how does the community become reconciled?

Reconciliation is not easy and often times very messy. Every community determines the best way for itself. Sunday’s Gospel offers a possible program or process.

Because of Jesus’ cross, Jesus is always present within the community as it struggles with reconciliation. It comes down to the prayerful awareness of Jesus’ presence.

For a community prayerfully aware of Jesus’ presence, all things become possible, including the painful task of reconciliation.   It all depends upon the community’s prayer life anchored upon Jesus’ words:

“Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

(Father Andrew Kelly is pastor of St. Mary Parish in Mechanicsville.)

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