Dear friends in Christ
The Gospel we hear read at Mass this Sunday raises the sensitive issue of what the spiritual writers have called fraternal correction. In other words, if I see my neighbour doing something wrong, acting immorally or set on a path of self-harm, then it is my duty as a brother-in-the-Faith,to correct them by pointing-out their mistake. Naturally this requires not just tact, but a certain spiritual maturity on our part; it does not imply a general license to go about putting others right! In fact, it may happen only rarely that we discover the need, in charity, to speak to a friend or family member when we see them embarked upon a course which will harm their soul. We have all had moments when we have thought that we should speak-up, and sometimes we lack the moral courage to do so, out of fear or human respect or cowardice. The advice our Lord gives reminds us that we shouldn’t be timid when it comes to the eternal well-being of another. The Prophet Ezekiel tells us in the First Reading what the reward is for such valour: If you warn the wicked man to renounce his ways and repent, and he does not repent, then he shall die for his sins, but you yourself will have saved your life. We need to ask God daily to make us aware of the spiritual plight of others and, with a sensitive charity, bring them back to Christ the gentle Shepherd and ruler of our lives.
This Monday evening I will begin Three Talks on the Faith especially for non-Catholics; I have already invited a number of our non-Catholic spouses personally to these Talks but if you know someone whom you think would benefit from this introduction to the basics of our Faith, do send them, or bring them, along on Monday evenings, 8pm in the Parish Centre, God bless you all!
Fr Kevin Hale