Christ is the reason why his followers bear the name of Christians. They are other Christs, then, anointed to announce repentance and the kingdom of God.
Jesus assures those who gather in his name and pray together that they will receive what they ask. And it will be so since he will be with them, making sure every request is according to God’s will. Yes, God hears the pleas of those who are attuned to Jesus who came down from heaven to do God’s will.
So, to gather together in the name of Jesus is not only to be with Jesus. It is also to do the will of God. In fact, doing God’s will proves we are together in Jesus’ name and live by his living and loving presence.
Besides, we who invoke the name of Christ become perfect as we conform our will to God’s will (SV.EN XI:285-287). And really, better than the practice of the presence of God is the practice of doing God’s will. That is because the latter embraces the former.
And it will do us good to keep asking (SV.EN XI:314): “Lord, if you were in my place, how would you act …? How would you instruct these people? How would you console this sick person …?”
To make our own the name of Christ means to commit to follow him. He has come to call sinners.
God wants everyone to be saved and come to know the truth. This truth is about the one God, and the one mediator between God and human beings, Christ. And so, according to the will of the one who has sent him, the one mediator seeks the salvation of all. Of course, he does not want to lose even one of those the Father has given him.
No, the love and obedience of Jesus cannot bear to lose anyone. And the Teacher decidedly shows he is the concerned keeper of his brothers and sisters. For love of the least of them, he denounces the injustice, hypocrisy, duplicity or greed those in authority display.
And Jesus does not want those identifying with his name to abuse their authority. That is why he instructs them in such a way that no accuser may turn at once judge, jury and executioner. There is to be no such abuse, then, among those who have his name. He does not condemn but saves. His words to the woman caught in adultery give us sinners hope, “Go, and from now on do not sin.”
Lord Jesus, make us honor your name through our concern for our brothers and sisters. May we help them on the way to salvation. You feed us with your flesh and blood; may we too have our fill doing the will of the Father.
10 September 2017
23rd Sunday in O.T. (A)
Ez 33, 7-9; Rom 13, 8-10; Mt 18, 15-20