Go and Proclaim: “God Rejoices When The Lost Are Found”
First Reading: Ezekiel 33: 7-11
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 119: 33-34; 35-36; 37-38; 39-40
Second Reading: Romans 13: 8-14
Gospel Reading: Matthew 18: 12-20
Homily by Fr. Romie- Jun Peñalosa
GO AND PROCLAIM: GOD REJOICES WHEN THE LOST ARE FOUND
(A RECAPITULATION BASED ON THE HOMILY OF +FR. ROMIE JUN PENALOSA)
“Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain threw this question at God when He asked him where Abel was. This was a question asked in the Old Testament that was later on answered in the New Testament.
When we were baptized, let us understand that we were grafted in the church. Therefore, we cannot live out Christianity alone; it is always done with community. We cannot nurture the spirit of individualism because it breeds arrogance. As Christians, we have the responsibility to take care of each other especially each other’s spiritual life. We need to have a heart to look for the strayed brothers we have for God knows the danger that lurks around us when we walk away from God.
The first reading teaches us to try reaching out always to our brothers and sisters especially those who are straying way. It must be an attitude that we need to have as Christians. Try to exert effort for our strayed brothers so that we can bring them back to God through repentance, in order for them to be reconciled to God. Understand that upon baptism, the anointing of being a king, a prophet, and a priest is in us. Prophet Ezekiel warn us of our accountability also as brothers when we do not teach or correct our brethren from their sins or mistakes.
The second reading teaches us to love one another. As children of God, we owe it to one another to love one another. There is no child of God that He does not love. And because He loves me, I must also love my brothers.
The Gospel reading teaches us how we can bring our strayed brothers and sisters back to be reconciled with God.
First, we need to go to our brother and talk to him. Tell him personally what you think and feel. If he listens, then you have won him. But what if he doesn’t?
Second, find witnesses that will prove his words. This is so he can realize what he was doing because of the evidence presented by others. Once he does, then the problem is solved. But if he doesn’t?
Bring the matter to the church. Let the leaders deal with the issue or problem. But after talking and trying to reach out to him with the church leaders and still he wouldn’t listen, then the leaders can now exercise their authority over him.
Finally, treat him like a pagan and tax collector if he continually refuses the teachings. This allows him to think and realize how to live a life alone (just like the prodigal son). Understand church that this is an act of love; not of punishment or condemnation.
A straying brother is a moving target for the enemy. Satan cannot destroy us when we walk side by side together. He divides us first and preys on the lone ones. But as Christians, we should not allow it. Why? A church that is bonded by prayers is a powerful force on earth. And as we go forth, let us be mindful of one another also for in gathering and fellowshipping, we gather that strength we need to make Satan stay away from us.
MERCY DE LA CRUZ-ESPIRITU
iTunes Podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/ph/podcast/cathedral-church-saint-michael/id1139105076