WEEK NINETEEN – WEDNESDAY – AUGUST 11, 2021 – IMPORTANCE OF GATHERING (Mt 18:15-20)

Prayer:

O Jesus, always join me with others so you will be in our midst. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus gathered with his disciples.

Context:

Jesus has just spoken of the shepherd seeking out the wandering sheep. This sheep represents a disciple who has left the church and the Church must seek him out. In today’s text, the individual believer must also seek out anyone who has sinned and try to reconcile him. If unsuccessful, the Church must get involved. The final two verses stress the power of communal prayer and the real presence of Jesus in the Church assembly (two or three gathered).

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

“If your brother offends you, go and point out his fault. This will be between you and him. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. If he does not listen, take one or two more, so that the word of two or three witnesses shall stand. If he does not listen, tell the Church. If he does not listen to the Church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. 

I say to you. Whatever you shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven. Whatever you shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven. 

I say to you that if two or three of you join your voices about anything on earth, it shall be granted by my Father in heaven. Where two or three gather in my name, I am in their midst.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. Jesus wants his disciples gathered together. A lonely disciple will not persevere. 
  2. If a disciple strays, another must go and point out his fault. 
  3. If he listens, the disciple has regained his brother for the church. 
  4. If the strayed disciple is unrepentant, the church must declare him an outsider, hoping that he sees and repents. 
  5. The power of the church exists even in its smallest gathering (2 or 3). 
  6. When gathered in Jesus’ name, these groups have all the powers of heaven. 
  7. Even more, Jesus will be present in their midst. 

Affections. (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, send me other disciples so I can be one with them. 
  • O Jesus, I will call back those who have lost interest. 
  • I will be like you, Jesus, a shepherd who seeks the strayed sheep. 
  • O Jesus, what powers you give us when we gather in your name 
  • I believe Jesus. Whatever I ask in your name will be given. 
  • You are with us. You abide in our midst. You stay. You bless us. 
  • Let me always gather with others. Do not let us scatter. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will commit myself to gather with others. 

+ I will try to seek out the strayed Catholic. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.) 

Where two or three gather, I am in their midst.