Today Mt 18,15-20 is read. it is about helping each other not to sin.
I ask myself in this post what is sin and what is the next, the neighbor, the enemy as Jesus teach us to love?
Pope Francis reminded us today that it is important not to make public our reminders and especially not to gossip that is “worse than COVID.”
( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )
Mt 18,15-20 says:
18:15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained back your brother.
18:16 But if he doesn’t listen, take one or two more with you, that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.d
18:17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembly. If he refuses to hear the assembly also, let him be to you as a Gentile or a tax collector.
18:18 Most certainly I tell you, whatever things you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever things you release on earth will have been released in heaven.
18:19 Again, assuredly I tell you, that if two of you will agree on earth concerning anything that they will ask, it will be done for them by my Father who is in heaven.
18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst.”
18:15 “If your brother sins against you, go, show him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained back your brother.
What us “sins against you”?
Most people think about the law of Moses, about lying, disrespect of parents etc. But as good Christians, we should also think about Jesus’ request to follow his commandments. He said “Love your next as you love yourself. … Love your neighbor and enemy”.
“Sin against you” is also if someone does not love you, yell at you openly, gossip behind your back, make you feel bad or even get sick.
What is “Our next, neighbor and enemies”?
We think here normally about our next humans, our neighbor humans our human enemies. But the animals we have around us? Did Jesus said it was allowed to hate and treat animals badly?
As a Jew, Jesus must have followed among others Deuteronomy 25:4 reads, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.”
The Ten Commandments specifically mentions that cattle and donkeys must not be worked on the Sabbath.
“Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox… may have rest …” (Exodus 23:12).
Proverbs 12:10 declares, “A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast, …”
Psalm 36:6-7 praises God, saying “man and beast thou savest, O Lord. How precious is thy steadfast love, O God! “
read more in www.humanesociety.org
We must follow Jesus’ commandments. We must love our neighbor humans and animals. We must remind our neighbor humans about this in a kind and respectful way. I think also that we must also choose the right opportunity to do this, an opportunity when you and your next are available to talk with you.
In these times of COVID, we could also say that we must kindly help each other to protect our next from Coronavirus infections.