- Mt 18:20
Christ Connection and Correction
Most of our passage from the gospel this weekend focuses on fraternal correction, how to correct one another in charity and truth, which can be very difficult to practice. The passage closes however with a more familiar verse about where ‘two or three are gathered’. The truth of Christ’s presence in the midst of Christians sheds light on his instruction about how to correct one another. Our reality as Christians is that we are bonded by truth and that truth is Christ Himself. This runs contrary to the prevailing culture, which says that ‘truth’ is relative, that is, it changes from person to person.
This relativism is totally contrary to reason, that gift by which we discern what is true and what is false. If I say, for example, that ‘God exists’. Another might say, ‘He may for you, but not for me.’ Well, I trust the person believes this and is being honest, but either God does exist as we believe or He doesn’t. There can’t be two different objective alternatives to this question. Either our faith is accurate or a complete sham.
This truth applies to relations between persons as well. Either something is charitable or it is not. Either something is just or it is not. Discerning these things is not always easy, but Christ gives us excellent guidelines for doing this. There is a collective wisdom in judging things and behavior. Many of these principles have been clarified by Catholic moral and ethical teaching. Other situations require a hands-on discernment by the Body of Christ.
Preserving the truth between us takes great charity and humility on everyone’s part. It stretches us like the cross Jesus asks us to carry and even be crucified on. This is no small work; it is the great work of Christ. We must take great care in our relationships with one another to pursue the truth without judgment and with determination. The health of this Body of Christ depends on each member doing his or her part. Realizing that none of us is perfect, we need to have compassion on and patience with one another. When we do this, Christ is present.