Gospel of Matthew 18:15-20
In my own life, I often wonder about the authority of being a Christian; how can the Church say that an act is right or wrong, or that something should or should not be done?
In today’s gospel we get a clear answer to these questions; Jesus gives us this authority; “what you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven...what you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.”
But think of what this means to us directly in our own lives.
Resentment and hatred, coupled with unforgiveness are powerful emotions. If we harbour these things against people and refuse to let them go, binding ourselves to them on earth, then they shall come with us into heaven.
But we can’t be in heaven while we hold on to these things. I am not talking about after we die, I am talking about here and now; we can’t get or receive the benefits of Mass, prayer or any of the benefits of being a member of the church if we are holding powerful and harmful emotions against our neighbour.
This life is part of our heaven. When we get there we shall find that there is no distinction between how we live in this life and how we live in the next. If we die in anger and hate then we shall carry that with us.
What do you think purgatory is if not a place to purge our souls of these defects? We seldom reflect on the consequences of free will, which is an awesome gift from God.
We can choose to love or to hate, to forgive or to hold the grudge. We can live in the image of heaven, hell or purgatory; the choice is ours and we have been given the authority to choose.
Free will is a mighty thing!