The Gospel text encourages us not to give up on our brothers/sisters who have gone astray. We are told to make several attempts to see that these souls are saved. This message is given within the context of Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness.

It’s interesting to note how far God intends to go with his project of winning over the sinner. If a parent walks a thousand steps to recover a lost child, God would do so seven thousand times more. God hands this project over to the church with a detailed step-by-step process that targets the achievement of the desired goal.

1. In the first step, It’s the task of both the offender and the offended to sue for peace and reconciliation.

2. In the second case, it’s the responsibility of elders in the Church or family to sue for peace.

3. In the third and final case, it’s the burden of the entire Church to ensure that we reconcile one another.

When Jesus mentioned that those who refuse reconciliation be treated as tax collectors and gentles, people feel he was saying, in the end, the one who gets lost is considered irrecoverable, but for God, no one is irrecoverable. And so, we must ask ourselves the question, how did Jesus treat Tax collectors and Gentiles? Because, he remains the standard by which we measure our lives.

The entire mission of Jesus was to save what is lost. Hence, if a man can go to any length to seek out his missing child, God can go a thousand times more in search of a soul. He never gives up on us. Thus, Jesus treated the tax collectors with love and kindness correcting them passionately and brotherly. Consequently,  his love showered on them won them back.

Everyone of us (Christian) is invited today to join the train of ministers of reconciliation, to learn to correct one another in fraternity and love. Unfortunately,  this is what our generation lacks. We are always at the condemning end. A brother makes a mistake, we draw out our swords of  criticism and condemnation.  A sister makes a mistake in the house, and instead of talking to that person, our song is crucify her, crucify her. More disheartening is the fact that this trait is greater among priests, seminarians, men of God who preach forgiveness every day and are custodians and dispensers of the sacrament of reconciliation. And when an offender is forgiven and given a second chance to redeem himself, we’re angry with the authorities and angry with God. Why this much animosity? Why this much anger? Na because grace dey cover your own. Don’t worry, wind go blow one day and fowl nyash go open.

 Dear friend, dear brother, dear sister treat others in charity. Remember kind words can heal a deep wound! God never gives up on us, we too, must not give up on our brothers/sisters.

 Good morning and God bless!


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