Sunday’s Gospel gives us very specific directions on how to tell someone that they have wronged you. The Old Testament reading compares telling someone that they have wronged you to the warning given by a watchman or a guard dog. And the reading from Romans tells us how to give that warning so that it can be understood – in love.
The way the Gospel describes it, it sounds almost like an intervention or a very serious talk show with guest therapists. It doesn’t sound like the sort of conversation that anyone looks forward to – do I really have to do this?
You and a friend are hiking in the mountains and it gets foggy, ridiculously foggy. Your friend is ahead of you, when you realize that he is headed off the edge of a cliff. You yell at him, but he snaps back at you that he knows where he is going and keeps walking towards the edge.
He’s annoyed at you for questioning him. But if you care about him at all, you know what you have to do. Even if you have to tackle him, it’s worth the risk of angering him even more to keep him from unwittingly walking over the edge.
Keep this image in mind when you listen to this Sunday’s readings - it’s just that important.
Sunday's Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/090714.cfm