To gossip is to talk about the personal lives of people to others. Oftentimes we are tempted to do so when the person we speak of has offended us, said something to us, conducted themselves in a way we find distasteful, or made us envious. In gossiping we seek comfort and consolation from others who were not involved or join in with others about another person we too may dislike. This weekend’s section of the Gospel of Matthew, chapter eighteen, deals with our life together as the church, the assembly of believers. “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” Matthew 18:15. Wisely Jesus counsels that if this does not work bring others who support your position with you. Even in the extreme, bringing the matter up before the whole church, if one continues to deny a problem the advice is: “If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector” Matthew 18:17. The question remains, how would one treat a tax collector or Gentile? Matthew the Evangelist who is attributed the authorship of this very Gospel was a tax collector. How was he treated? He was challenged and welcomed to follow Jesus. We have an obligation to speak when we are aware of injustice. But rather than speaking to those who have no influence to change a situation which gossiping often entails, we need to speak to those who can do something about a situation. In 1942 the Quaker community had coined the phrase, “Speaking truth to power.” Our lesson from Ezekiel 33 lays out the moral obligation we have to do so. We are held morally responsible to say something to those who venture astray. However our attitude and intention about doing so needs to be grounded in the love for the other, care for their wellbeing, and the whole community within which we live.
NATIVITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY – Sister parishes are welcomed to celebrate Nativity of the BVM Patronal Feast Day this weekend on Sunday, September 10th following the 11:00AM Mass. In addition to Food, Folks, Fun and even a “wide screen” to catch some of the “Bill Home Opener,” the church will dedicate the new and installed outdoor Church Bell System and also bless and use for the first time, a beautiful large host Monstrance which has been donated to the parish anonymously in memory of Roberta J. Castlevetere and Joseph Castlevetere. Come join us…….