September 4, 2011: 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
“If two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:15-20)
In the first part of the Gospel (not shown), Jesus talks about how to deal with conflict with another person. If someone offends you, Jesus says that you should talk with that person to see if you can solve the problem. If that doesn’t work, Jesus suggests that you ask another person to go with you to chat with that person, to again try and work things out. How does it feel when someone has hurt your feelings or you feel they have done something wrong? It’s not easy to talk to a person that you are mad at or who you feel has hurt you. It’s easier to gossip with others about that person or ignore her/him. Jesus encourages us though to talk to the person in order to repair the relationship. Why? Because Jesus wants his community of believers to love one another and that can’t happen if there are quarrels among them. If we are to become like Christ, we must treat others as Christ would have treated them.
Jesus then says, “If two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Prayer was important to Jesus because he himself prayed frequently to God. He knew that God answered prayers and that when you encourage others to pray with you, that God has a special presence among you. This verse also applies to Christians who attend church. As believers, you come together and God is present and praised.
At school, you’ll see old friends and make new ones. If you get in a disagreement with someone, work it out quickly. Don’t let it sit and make you angry or hurt. Ask God to help you talk to that person. Pray for that person. They may have problems that you don’t know about and they may need your friendship and help. Remember that the Holy Spirit, God’s helper, is with you at all times and that you can share God with others by praying with them and inviting them to go to church with you.