What we have failed to do…

Home > Living the Gospel > What we have failed to do…
Today’s readings (1st and Gospel–note how similar they are,) make me cringe a bit. It is a wake up call that I/we are to some degree our brother’s and sister’s keeper.

In Jesus’ day it was common practice to correct the public sinner first privately alone, then with a few witnesses (also privately,) and then take it to the church community. If at that point the sinner did not repent, he was excommunicated from that community.

So often Jesus will site a Jewish law, then say… “but I say…”. In this instruction he does not backdown.

It is our obligation to give good example and to encourage our friends, neighbors, and especially our children (yes, they do need to attend Sunday Mass and go to religious education to get a good foundation in the faith,) to follow Christ as a faithful disciple. It is also our obligation not to look the other way when our other family members and neighbors do not practice their faith. If we don’t give the example and withkindness, try to get our inactive friends and neighbors to return to the practice of the faith, we are not living as faithful disciples either.

The same is true when we see our family/friends/neighbors committing other sin–we need to remind them of God’s loving forgiveness and try to get them to repent.

Are we always successful? Of course not. But we will never know unless we try…and having tried “we will have saved ourselves.”

Some years ago a wonderful Catholic friend and I were having a casual conversation when somehow, the topic turned to sin. I almost jokingly told her that I was more worried about the things I didn’t do than the (sinful) things I did. (Its no joke!) She responded that she had never considered that. After all, what do we pray in the Penitential Rite?… “that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts, in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.” Maybe we all need to consider this.

Linda Caminiti