Today we have three sections in the Gospel of Matthew that are not connected. They are parts of the teachings of Jesus.
The first is about conflict resolution. How do we correct a brother? The important part is GO to the brother first. There are many examples of people going to higher authorities with complaints. The teaching of Jesus is to go firstly to the offender. This is the first recourse. There are propositions in place if this doesn’t work. But it is the first recourse!!!!!
The second section is about the higher authority. This has to be read carefully because tax collectors are mentioned in other parts of the Gospel rather favourably!
The examples of the higher places of appeal are stated in the Gospel. But the final verdict of being treated like the tax collectors and publicans can be misleading. Matthew tells us in other places how Jesus treats the tax collectors and publicans!!!!!!!
The third section
I tell you solemnly again if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in Heaven. What a beautiful promise! Jesus gives us the reason for the promise. “for where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them”.
Compare Ezekiel and Paul in today’s readings. “Warn the wicked.” “ Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour; that is why it is the answer to every one of the commandments."