Positive Peer Pressure

At Home with Our Faith - Gospel Reflections from a Family Perspective

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time Mt 18: 15-20 family group

Love has the power to change others when force or argument cannot. Members who were conflicted about how to act were likely to get some direction from a brother or sister about the right way to go. Even when a brother or sister or child is rebellious, Jesus doesn’t tell the Church family to give up on them. He says to “treat them as you would a Gentile or tax collector.” When we recall that many of Jesus’ closest friends and not a few apostles fell into those social categories, we will understand that everyone is deserving of a loving second chance.

It is powerful when we are in agreement about our expectations of how to act: “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. Jesus puts a high value on being of one mind about how we should behave. Families benefit when the parents (and sometimes grandparents) present a united front to their children when it comes to discipline. What kid among us, ourselves included we must admit, tried to play mom and dad against each other, trying to get our own way. In the Christian community in the days of the Gospels, the family of the Church benefited when the members could demonstrate unity of mind and heart about how we should live and treat each other. When someone knows we love them, they experience the attractive and transforming presence of Jesus among us. 

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