The WORD in Other Words by Fr Anthony Ibarra Fabella SVD (Philippines)
Monday Week 21 Ordinary Time, 1 Thes 1:1-5, 8b-10, Mt 23:13-22
My father had joined the congregation in the singing at Mass and his voice stood out differently from the rest but the presiding parish priest shouted at him, “Stop singing!” I knew he was embarrassed. He did not go to church for several Sundays and quietly kept everything in his heart. Going to church lost its appeal to him.
In today‘s Gospel, Jesus continues his condemnation of leaders who cause scandals which shake the faith of people, leaders who have a disastrous impact on people they are supposed to serve.
I am not saying that our former parish priest was a bad leader. He later became one of the most beloved parish priests assigned in our town. He may have made a very bad mistake in that situation, but after noticing my father‘s absence in several church services, he took the initiative of approaching my father later on.
That action more than made up for the error of his ways. And that move for reconciliation made him greater in the eyes of my father.