December 6, 2023

Let us ponder on the reflections of Pope Francis on fraternal correction.
Never reduce another to his or her mistake. It is necessary to help each person, with love, to move beyond his error. (Passiamo all’altra riva)
Fraternal correction is a gesture of love for a brother. It is not a feeling to be superior or better, but helping and assisting the other person to overcome their difficulties.
To correct means to hold with, not reproach. Help a neighbor, walk together towards healing or towards its beginning.
If you leave the other in his error, without correcting him, you become responsible; if you do not help him, this is tantamount to failure to help; like that of those who witness road accidents and pass by without stopping.
Pope Francis quotes St. Paul to the Galatians, “Walk according to the Spirit.” St. Paul urged Christians to bear each other’s burdens and when a community member fell, to restore them with gentleness.
Quite different than gossiping, like when we see something and we talk about it behind the person.
Gossiping about your neighbor is not in accordance with the Spirit. The Spirit said be gentle with a brother or sister when correcting him or her and be humble by keeping watch over ourselves so as not to fall into those sins.
The Catholic Encyclopedia defines fraternal correction as “the admonishing of one’s neighbor by a private individual with the purpose of reforming him or, if possible, preventing his sinful indulgence.”
Since God made us free, we are masters of our decisions – even wrong ones.
The hurts you have experienced might tempt you to withdraw from others, to turn in on yourself and to nurse anger, but never stop listening to God’s call to forgiveness.
The Bishops of Rwanda put it well: “In order to reconcile with another person, you must first of all be able to see the goodness in that person, the goodness God created him with. This requires great effort to distinguish the offence from the offender; it means you hate the offence the person has committed, but you love the person despite his weakness, because in him you see the image of God”.
Is there anyone who does not deserve God’s forgiveness and mercy or the forgiveness of men? To be forgiven is a human right.
We all have the right to be forgiven if we ask for forgiveness. It is a right that comes from the very nature of God and has been given as an inheritance to men. We have forgotten that someone who asks for forgiveness has the right to be forgiven.
Synodal forms and paths are encouraged for everyone especially the clergy to bring them away from worldly securities and for the Lord’s consolation to truly reach everyone.
The only reason a person should look down on another person is to help him up. In society, we see how often people look down on others to dominate them, to subdue them, instead of helping them get up. Just think – it’s a sad tale, but an everyday story – of those employees who have to pay the price of job stability because their bosses look down on them, domineering them. On the other hand, looking at someone from above is only permissible in order to do a “noble” act, namely to hold out one’s hand and say, “Stand brother, stand sister.”

In your daily prayers please include Frs. Vincent Sagandoy, William Bilag, Tots Pagao, and Sister Emie Damuyan, SIHM, for their fast and complete healing. Let us pray as well for an honest, peaceful, just, clean barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
Reach me at [email protected]