Homily by St. Augustine, Bishop
16th Sermon on the Words of the Lord, vol. x
Why tell him his fault? Because he hath made thee smart by trespassing against thee? God forbid. If thou tell him his fault because thou lovest thyself, thou dost nothing. But if thou tell it him because thou lovest him, then dost thou do exceeding well. Hear now, in the words of the Gospel itself, for love of whom, thou oughtest to do it, of thyself, or of him. The Lord saith: If he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. Therefore it behoveth thee to do it for his sake, that thou mayest gain him; since, if thou so do, haply thou mayest gain him; whereas, if thou do it not, he may haply perish. Why then are there so many who reckon lightly of a trespass against their brother, and say I have done no great offence, for I have trespassed only against my fellow man? Deem it not light; thou hast trespassed, though it be against thy fellow man.
|Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthæum.||Sequel of the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.|
|Cap. SVIII.||Ch. XVIII.|
|In illo tempore: Dixit Jesus discipulis suis: Si peccaverit in te frater tuus, vade, et corripe eum inter te et ipsum solum. Si te audierit, lucratus eris fratrem tuum. Si autem te non audierit, adhibe tecum adhuc unum vel duos, ut in ore duorum vel trium testium stet omne verbum. Quod si non audierit eos, dic Ecclesiæ. Si autem Ecclesiam non audierit, sit tibi sicut ethnicus et publicanus. Amen dico vobis: quæcumque alligaveritis super terram, erunt ligata et in cœlo; et quæcumque solveritis super terram, erunt soluta et in cœlo. Iterum dico vobis, quia si duo ex vobis consenserint super terram, de omni re quamcumque petierint, fiet illis a Patre meo, qui in cœlis est. Ubi enim sunt duo vel tres congregati in nomine meo, ibi sum in medio eorum. Tunc eccedens Petrus ad eum, dixit: Domine, quoties peccabit in me frater meus, et dimittam ei? Usque septies? Dicit illi Jesus: Non dico tibi usque septies; sed usque septuagies septies.||At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: If thy brother shall offend against thee, go and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more; that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. And if he will not hear them, tell the Church; and if he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven. Again, I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning anything whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by my Father, who is in heaven; for where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Then came Peter unto him, and said: Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith to him: I say not to thee, till seven times, but till seventy times seven times.|