Livonia, Michigan

From Fr. Tom!

Happy Labor Day weekend to all of you!
Hopefully, this reflection finds you well and healthy. When I read the Gospel passage for the 22nd Sunday of ordinary time those questions came to my mind: am I responsible for my brothers and sisters if they do wrong??? Is it my responsibility to correct everyone who has any wrongdoings? It’s not possible!
Once a man approached St. Francis of Assisi and said to him,
Brother Francis, I am in a dilemma. In the Bible it says we should rebuke sinners, but I see people sinning all the time. I don’t feel like I should go around rebuking everybody.
St. Francis thought for a moment and then said,
What you must do is ‘live in such a way that your life rebukes the sinner.’ How you act will call others to repentance.
It is our Christian principle of
loving our neighbors as ourselves
that calls for our concern and responsibility towards our neighbors. And one of the ways we can show our love for one another is to offer guidance and corrections.
Jesus calls us to look into our own conduct in relation to this law of brotherly love. Have we really tried to help our fellow-men on the road to heaven? Have we given them a good example of a truly Christian way of living? Have we offered advice and encouragement when it was needed, and correction in private where that was possible?
You and I — by the way we live — are called to be watchmen and to build a community of love.
May God help us to do this!!!

Fr. Tom