Dear friends of St. Paul, the readings for Sunday will be Matthew 18:1-20; Romans 13:1-10; Ezekiel 33:7-9; Psalm 32:1-7.
Caution – Warning – Beware! When we see signs alerting us to danger in our path, we can be thankful that someone was thinking of our wellbeing. But what about spiritual dangers? Sunday’s readings speak to the responsibility Christians have to look out for one another. When a fellow Christian offers us correction in a kind and gentle manner, we should thank God for them. Younger or weaker believers who are struggling with particular sins need a special measure of our love, our patience, and our forgiveness. Any correction we are in a position to provide requires all three of these virtues (Matt 18). Ezekiel, whom God appointed watchman of Israel, must have felt this burden of love very keenly (Ez. 33). The apostle Paul talks about love for neighbor as a kind of continual debt that we owe to one another (Rom 13).
Think of a time when someone you love and respect offered you correction. Thank God for them. Do you know of someone who needs guidance from you? How will Jesus’ teachings shape the way you approach this situation?