23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Reflection of the Word of God.
IF YOUR BROTHER SINS...
The Gospel this Sunday is very important to understand the theme of forgiveness and fraternal correction in the community. When Jesus was asked how many times to forgive… he replied “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Mt 18:22) We all deserve another chance after we have sinned. But if, realizing the error, we are not able to change, then we ourselves are putting a limit on the forgiveness of our brothers.
Jesus gave us these guidelines to indicate how to proceed in case of conflict. If a brother sins, that is, if they behave at variance with the life of the community, there is no need to make a scandal by denouncing it publicly. Before you have to talk to him alone, to try to find out the reasons and to invite him to change. But if there is no result, then the community will intervene. And if the person does not want to listen to the advice of the community, then that person excludes himself from the community coexistence, because he does not recognize his mistake or have the will to improve.
The Christian sense of responsibility to one another demands that we firmly but lovingly help those who fail. But that help will be effective only if the person who has sinned wants to change, wants to improve.