From Father Tom …

Wow, we did it! We pulled off outdoor church during a pandemic in a safe manner and everything seemed to go just fine.

I hope all of you are doing well and are staying safe. 

The Gospel this coming week is:

Matthew 18:15-20

Jesus said, “If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

This Gospel contains a few things I would like to highlight. The first and most pronounced for me is that of reconciliation. Growing up, I could hold a grudge against my younger brother Doug, for just about anything. He had sinned? Maybe.   First I would try to work it out directly with him always followed by asking  mom or dad for intervention.  This usually only happened at times when we got physical with one another. I’m guessing they stepped in because I was bigger than Doug and they wanted him to survive and me to stay out of jail.    

The dictionary gives three meanings for reconciliation  

(1) An act of reconciling, as when former enemies agree to an amicable truce. 

(2)The state of being reconciled, as when someone becomes resigned to something not desired. 

(3)The process of making consistent or compatible.

We all, yes every single one of us, have done someone or something wrong that requires that we practice the art of reconciliation. It takes work and it’s not easy. Jesus knew that we needed to be reminded about it. But as long as we are working toward that reconciliation, life is good. It’s when everything has failed, and no one is listening, that it becomes a problem.

The second and third consideration of this Gospel reading come during the last two sentences. Jesus is again telling us, that if two of us agree on and ask God for it, it will be done for us. But remember there can be ramifications.  This is my favorite part: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am in the midst of them.” Thank you Jesus, because we need you now more than ever!

I want to point out that we are only a week away from the blood drive. I talked to the Junior Warden (David Kroger) last night and he told me that there are only like 12 people signed up so far. We need a lot more.  David has done a ton of work on this and it shows. Please put this on your calendar and go call 1-800-RED-CROSS to register of a time to give. Mine’s in the afternoon.

Peace be with you!
Fr. Tom 

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