23rd SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
‘If he listens to you, you have won back your brother’
At the dawn of creation, Cain protested that he was
not his brother, Abel’s keeper. His words have been
quoted throughout history to justify turning a blind
eye, not getting involved even when a brother or
sister is taking the wrong path. Jesus says that we are
our brother’s, or sister’s keeper. Love corrects. If love
doesn’t correct, then it is not love, but the correction
must never be done harshly. It should never cause
resentment. Naming and shaming never brings
healing. When someone does something wrong,
we would do well to remember the many things
they did right. When Cardinal Angelo Roncalli, the
future Pope St. John XXIII, was Patriarch of Venice,
he once went to visit a wayward priest whose life was
causing scandal. Having entered the priest’s house the
Cardinal greeted him warmly and then knelt down
and asked the priest if he would hear his confession.
From that moment the priest began to turn his life
around. Correction done with love bears fruit.
Motto of Pope John Paul I: ‘Always seek to say easy
things and to say difficult things in an easy way’.