Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Gospel in a Nutshell - The Catholic Tattletale

Matthew 18: 15-20



Jesus said to his disciples:
"If your brother sins against you,
go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
If he does not listen,
take one or two others along with you,
so that 'every fact may be established
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.'
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church.
If he refuses to listen even to the church,
then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Amen, I say to you,
whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again, amen, I say to you,
if two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,

there am I in the midst of them."

Ok, it may be because I am constantly correcting my 4 year old when she incessantly tells on her sister...but this gospel got me thinking that God wants me to be a tattle tale!

I've read this passage many times before, but today it really got me thinking.  Basically, it is telling us that if we KNOW that someone is sinning, it is our duty to confront them about their sin.  If we do not, we are also at fault.  Seems easy enough, right?

But is it?

I have no problem going to members of my family and talking to them about different choices they may be making, but I don't want to be that person who is confronting everyone about their sins!

This is my struggle.

I remember once having a friend in highschool who's mother would not attend their cousins wedding because it wasn't in a Catholic church.  I thought that this was absurd and was a sure way to burn bridges for good.  The mother, on the other hand, thought that she was doing more for the couple by her protest.  How could she support something that was against the couples faith?

Now according to the gospel, I'm in the wrong.

Is it really my responsibility to approach people (in private like the gospel says) and tell them that their lifestyle is sinful according to the Church? Would people even listen?  Or think it is insulting? If anyone has advice on this, I would love to hear it.

I wasn't kidding when I said I struggle with this one.

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