Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute

 

Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

August 12, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

 

Memoria Feast:  Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, Religious (1572-+1641) – Patron Saint of Forgotten People, Loss of Parents, Parents Separated from Children, and Widows.

Book of the Prophet Ezekiel 9:1-7, 10:18-22

Psalm 113

Matthew 18:15-20

 

“Dad!  Do you know what Jennifer did to me?”   When my children were younger (they are now 47 and 45 respectively with families of their own) they knew exactly what to do when a wrong had been committed against them.  There is something almost enjoyable about clearly being the victim, knowing that retribution of some form is well-deserved.  There is an order to things; first we tell everyone else what happened, then we wait for the guilty one to “get” what he/she deserves.

However, Jesus leads us in a very different direction in today’s Gospel narrative.  He asks us to care and care deeply, for the one who has hurt us.  The first thing He tells us to do is “keep it between you.”  We can’t use this wrong as an opportunity to, well, perfect our role as a victim. 

In a clear departure from our no-secret, tell-all culture, Jesus asks us to be silent about the wrong against us, except to return to the person who hurt us and talk to him or her.  We are invited to care for that person by talking, discussing the injury privately, and  trying to resolve our differences.  If the person does not respond, Jesus says we may ask someone else to help moderate it, even bringing it to the Church.  Each of these steps I have mentioned is designed not to get our own well-deserved justice, but as a way of caring for the other person.  If none of this works our Lord asks us too simply to avoid that person.  We are not asked to talk about that person or carry the injury or hurt for years on end.

Friends, today’s Gospel seems to be asking us to behave in a radically different way.  We are asked to take our role as victim and use it as a special way to care for the one who hurt us, transforming not only the injury, but ourselves.  As humans we are bound to be at both ends of committing hurts. Wouldn’t this be a wonderful guideline for life when we are the ones who inevitably will have hurt someone else?  You bet it would!

Question of the Day:  Are you willing to pray for and forgive anyone who may have hurt you in the past and in the future?

Prayer:  Lord, please allow me to forgive those who may have hurt me.  Please give me the grace to forgive so as to imitate Your perfect love.  Amen.

Please continue to pray for the victims of the Coronavirus and for all who are affected by this unprecedented pandemic as well as for peace in our country and in our world.

Prosit  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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