Jesus said to his disciples:
“If your brother sins against you,
go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
If he does not listen,
take one or two others along with you,
so that ‘every fact may be established
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church.
If he refuses to listen even to the church,
then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Amen, I say to you,
whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again, amen, I say to you,
if two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.”
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I’m blessed to have been friends with a girl in college who is now a religious sister. Before Emma joined the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, we spent a lot of time together. She was in my Bible Study, we hung out together, and we went to a Catholic conference together. As she was discerning her vocation, she started having visions of Jesus, particularly while she adored him in the Blessed Sacrament. I’ll never forget her wonder as she told me about him. One evening, after I had prayed over her, she whispered, “He’s here.” Emma saw Jesus standing right behind me with his hand on my shoulder. She saw the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove flapping over my head. Every time I hear the final verse of the Gospel reading this Sunday, I think of this memory with Emma. Although we might not see him, Jesus is always with us when we pray. When you need to feel him near, gather with a friend or two in his name.
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