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Matthew 18:17 If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Jesus embraces the reality of our humanity. He recognizes and invites us to acknowledge the cold truth that people sin. In fact, sinning people make up the entirety of every community. We are accountable to each other and for each other. Even after the community points out their sin, we are instructed to treat them “as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
When we read the rest of the gospels and see and hear how Jesus treats Gentiles and tax collectors, this instruction becomes a mandate for extending radical compassion. When we are confronted with members of our community who refuse to admit fault, we are instructed to do as Jesus did: love and accept them anyway.
Today the Church remembers Edmund, King of East Anglia, 870M.