For the appointed Gospel reading in the Church’s Daily Prayer, we have a passage from the 18th chapter of Matthew:
‘If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax-collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.’ (Mt. 18:15-20).
It seems that today I encounter more and more people who are simply angry, and that anger runs in all sorts of directions. The liberals are angry with the conservatives, and the conservatives are angry with the liberals. The “haves” are angry with the “have nots,” and the “have nots” are angry with the “haves.” All this is fueled by the media for which such controversy makes good ratings; all you have to do is to watch the evening news and watch people say all sorts to things to people who are not present. Facebook is another such avenue where people say things to each other that they would never say to each other in person.
Jesus has a different way of dealing with all of this anger which stems from what the Church traditionally calls “sin”, hurting the other person. Jesus tells us that the way to forgiveness and to healing is to bring things out into the open. If someone has sinned against you, let them know it, just the 2 of you. “You have hurt me by doing ________.” If that does not work, go to the community for witnesses. So before you go on television, or post it on Facebook, try Jesus' way of dealing with it. Who knows, you might be surprised at how well it works.
Let us pray: O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth: deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
It is hurricane season! Are you ready? Make sure that your home insurance is up to date and that you have an evacuation plan. Remember that St. James Episcopal Church in Austin is a place that you can use as an evacuation center.
Every Wednesday, the Healing Arts Ministry with Lee Runion starting at 11:00 AM with a light lunch provided.
The Seaside Seniors meet every third Thursday of the month in Sutton Hall at 1100 AM.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List and especially Tom, Patricia, Audrey, Lee’s mother and his family, Pat, Julie, all of those who are serving in the Armed Forces, Randy, and Steve Francis.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550