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Gospel reflection

September 10, 2023: Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel: Matthew 18:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples: “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. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.

“Amen I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

“Again, amen, I say to you, 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.”


When we feel hurt by or judge another’s words or actions, it is common to react in self-protective ways. We may fight back, gossip, become self-critical, or cut the person out of our life. We have a good instinct to protect ourselves, which is needed in life-threatening situations. However, in some instances, we are not in danger. Still, we fall into the patterns we may have learned and practiced for many years that lead to division. In this Gospel reading, Jesus is asking us to seek reconciliation, to seek to reunite what has been severed.

No matter your role in a situation, reconciliation takes commitment and skill. Oftentimes, we will need to seek help to tend to ourselves and when it is safe to connect with another. Reconciliation asks us to be willing to acknowledge any harm that we might have caused, even when it was unintentional. We need the courage to seek connection when we are hurting. It is important that we communicate with each other on a heart level, connecting with our feelings and universal needs.

Why go through all this trouble? Because we are stronger when united. United, we remain connected with God and living in the Reign of God.


Consider a relationship with which you would like to seek reconciliation. What is one step you can take toward seeking to repair the disconnection? Pray for guidance and courage.

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Sister Corbin Hannah

Sister Corbin Hannah

Sister Corbin has been a member of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods since 2009. She has a master’s degree in Social Work and is currently ministering at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

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  1. Avatar ConnieSP on September 9, 2023 at 2:56 pm

    Such a beautiful reflection and gentle language..
    Thanks so very much Corbin.

  2. Avatar Brad Crites, Providence Associate on September 10, 2023 at 9:51 am

    S. Corbin, This is precisely what I needed to hear today. The motto of John Henry Newman comes to mind: “Heart speaks to heart.” Thank you for sharing your heart with us!

  3. Avatar Denielle C. Illeses on September 10, 2023 at 9:17 pm

    Yan po ba yung reflection

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