23rd Sunday in Ordinary time – Year A

by Fr D. Ntshangase

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Today’s readings are reminding us of our Christian responsibility to help our brothers and sisters in Christ to do what is right. Jesus further gives a method on how to correct each other to do what is right: first in private, then before a few and finally before the whole community. This is everyone’s duty, not for a priest or old people but for everyone. It often happens when someone has done something wrong, especially in Church, that people would be gossiping about it and pointing out that (s)he is from a family which should correct him/her. We forget that it is our responsibility too to correct that person. However, it is something that calls for courage, sensitivity and love for one another.

Even though it is our Christian duty to correct one another or call one another to do what is right, we must not commit a sin while doing so. We must not humiliate the person we are correcting. This is a way of showing the love of neighbour to one another. Some of us have resolved not to correct others because we feel it is not our duty but that is a sin of omission, i.e. we sin by not doing what we are supposed to do. If we are silent then we bear part of the responsibility for evil. After all, as brothers and sisters in Christ, we are responsible for one another. The statement “it is none of my business” has become an excuse for not responding to this call of Christ. In Genesis 9:4, when God asked Cain where his brother Abel was he responded by asking if he was his brother’s keeper. Let us not normalise Cain’s response in our lives because by doing so we will be turning a deaf ear to the call of Christ to be responsible for one another. Allow God to reach others through you.

We are Christians and we have an obligation not only to do what is right but also to help others to do what is right. Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 5:13-16 that they are like salt to all mankind, they are like the light of the world and their light must shine to the whole world. Like to the disciples of Christ then so it is for us today.