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ALBERT B. CASUGA, a Philippine-born writer, lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, where he continues to write poetry, fiction, and criticism after his retirement from teaching and serving as an elected member of his region's school board. He was nominated to the Mississauga Arts Council Literary Awards in 2007. A graduate of the Royal and Pontifical University of St. Thomas (now University of Santo Tomas, Manila. Literature and English, magna cum laude), he taught English and Literature (Criticism, Theory, and Creative Writing) at the Philippines' De La Salle University and San Beda College. He has authored books of poetry, short stories, literary theory and criticism. He has won awards for his works in Canada, the U.S.A., and the Philippines. His latest work, A Theory of Echoes and Other Poems was published February 2009 by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. His fiction and poetry were published by online literary journals Asia Writes and Coastal Poems recently. He was a Fellow at the 1972 Silliman University Writers Workshop, Philippines. As a journalist, he worked with the United Press International and wrote an art column for the defunct Philippines Herald.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

FRATERNAL/SISTERLY CORRECTION

"El Senor te bendiga y te guarde;
el Senor te mire con agrado y te extienda su amor;
el Senor te muestre su favor y te conceda la paz."
                                         
 (Numeros 6:24-26)

On Friday, August 25, 2017 7:20 AM, Francisco Albano <obsculta57@yahoo.com> wrote:


KKK Gospel Reflection September10, 2017
23rd Sunday OT Mt 18:20-25 (RSV)
 
15. "If another member of the church {Gk [If your brother]} sins against you, {Other ancient authorities lack [against you]} go and point out the fault   16. 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. 17. 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. 18. 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. 19. 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. 20. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."
 
FRATERNAL / SISTERLY CORRECTION
              
               There is an essential requirement needed for Christian discipleship in the community called Church -- needed for members to be unto the image of Christ’s Church that is salt of the earth for preservation and enjoyment of goodness in the world, leaven for the rise of justice, peace, and care for the earth, and light to ascertain the way to the Kingdom of God. Discipleship requires fraternal / sisterly correction of faults, forgiveness for wrong-doers, encouragement to a firm purpose of amendment, rehabilitation of heart, mind, and spirit, and renewed sociological service to neighbor in Jesus’ name. Discipleship requires that one who is hurt be humble and approachable for one who desires to come and ask for forgiveness and shows willingness to compensate for his/her mistake/s and shortcomings.
 
            To improve the quality of discipleship there is the sacrament of penance that some ecclesial denominations avail of, but common to all is the sacrament of criticism and self-criticism, of fraternal/sisterly correction in private in one-on-one fashion, in family, group or community assessments and evaluation, and in formal ecclesiastical hearings, depending. Fraternal / sisterly correction should in spirit of Jesus’ command that we forgive not just three times, not seven times but seventy seven times those who hurt us; in the spirit of Jesus’ prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
 
               Jesus tells us that forgiveness in heaven depends on forgiveness on earth: “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.”  We can forgive one another. We have been given the power to do so. The question is: Do we use this power? Are we willing to do so? Do we choose to forgive some hurts but not all hurts? Do we wait for the wrong-doer to first approach and beg for forgiveness? Or can he/she be forgiven even he/she does not ask? How conditional is our granting of forgiveness?
 
            Evangelical forgiveness of faults does not depend on the demands of commutative justice. The thief is forgiven and loved but he/she must return the goods. The murderer is forgiven and loved even before he/she is convicted and jailed. Do we forgive politicians of graft and corruption, or members of the Commission on Appointments who rejected Ms. Gina Lopez and Dr. Judy Taguilwalo? Do we forgive them but demand their resignation? Do we forgive the misguided members of ISIS and the Maute rebels who refuse negotiations? Do we forgive leaders of big business, big government, big military who program their institutions to exploit and oppress the people? Do we forgive priests and ministers for their indiscretions, whatever. Do we forgive activists for their political and organizational mistakes, and bad styles of work; and do they correct and forgive one another?
 
            What is to be done to those with hearts of stone? “If the offender refuses to listen even to the Church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”  This means that he/she must not be ostracized and remain unforgiven. He/she must be given patient “special treatment.”  Conditions may be created so the offender may be helped to recognize his/her fault. How did Jesus treat the public sinners and tax collectors?  We are to hate the sin and love the sinner.
 
            And so are Church disciples called to forgiveness of sins.  It is hoped that they, we, can on this matter be exemplars of the Gospel paradigm, that non-believers might consider imitating the Lord who calls all to a life of grace. We begin as Christians forgiving and loving one another, remembering that the sun shines and the rain falls on the just and unjust alike and that God’s love embraces all. ###
 
-- Rev. Francisco R. Albano
    Diocese of Ilagan
 

 
"El Senor te bendiga y te guarde;
el Senor te mire con agrado y te extienda su amor;
el Senor te muestre su favor y te conceda la paz."
                                         
 (Numeros 6:24-26)

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