Feast of Saints Pontian and Hippolytus
This section of Matthew’s Gospel presents instructions on how to deal with people who have grievances against another person. A “small” problem can affect just a few other witnesses or the whole Church community (Matthew 18:15-17). Jesus makes this clear when He physically heals and forgives sinners by bringing them back into the community (Luke 17:11-19 or Mark 5:1-20). Through sin, we not only sever ourselves from God, but also from the rest of the Christian community. Thus, each time we go to Mass, we acknowledge these misgivings (Penitential Rite/Kyrie), and ask God and the Christian community (sign of peace) to accept us back into the community before we go forward to receive Jesus (communion). By gathering together as the Church community (Matthew 18:20), we recognize that God is present among us.