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Myanmar Catholic Church
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Fraternal Correction

23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year A)


Nobody likes to be corrected. It squeezes our ego, and it is often badly done or consists of someone making mean comments or criticizing us because we’ve done something they don’t like. Fraternal correction can also sting, but it has the good of the corrected person in mind. The common theme of today’s readings is God’s command concerning our spiritual responsibility and individual accountability for others in our families, parishes and community. This accountability arises from our identity as God’s children. As brothers and sisters in Christ, then, we become each other’s “keepers,” and take on a painful, triple responsibility. We must lovingly and prudently correct each other when we err, forgive those who offend us, and ask forgiveness from those we have offended.

Pope Francis spoke about fraternal correction at St. Peter’s Square on 14th May, 2014, explaining that it heals and builds up the body of Christ, but only when done out of love. “You cannot reprimand a person without love and charity. Just as you cannot perform surgery without anesthesia, you cannot correct without love, because the patient will die from the pain.” Charity, he noted, “is like an anesthetic that helps you to receive treatment and accept reprimand. Take him to one side and talk to him, with gentleness, with love.” Our society today tends to try and resolve disputes through rules and regulations, lawyers and courts, fines and penalties. Modern believers tend to think that they have no right to intervene in the private lives of their fellow believers. But Jesus emphatically affirms that we are our brothers’ keepers, and we have the serious obligation to correct others. We need to offer advice and encouragement to our friends, neighbors, and coworkers when it is needed, and loving correction, in private, for a personal offense where that is possible. Let us be mindful of what the Lord teaches us not the human wisdom but the wisdom of God. God Bless!

Fr. Anthony Htun


2020-09-06 08:25:17