Our Gospel reading today has some harsh dimensions and most likely it reflects not the teaching of Jesus directly but the practices in the church for which Matthew was writing. People who refuse to acknowledge their failures are to be treated as pagans and tax collectors! But just how are pagans and tax collectors treated by Jesus and in the Gospel of Matthew? They are welcomed and forgiven! Any permanent exclusion is to be resisted on the example and teaching of Jesus himself.
We believe your word to us that where two or three are gathered in your name you are in our midst. Help us to recognise you in all our brothers and sisters, whatever their failures or sins. Help us to recognise you in ourselves, whatever our faults.
K O’Mahony OSA