- To bind and to loose
"Truly, I say to you: whatever you bind on earth
will be bound in heaven and whatever you will make loose on earth
will be made loose in heaven" (Mathew 18, 18)
- After telling the parable of the lost sheep, Jesus concluded,
" Similarly your Father in heaven wants that none of these
little ones should perish" (Mathew 18, 14). The person who
is wandering and is ready to commit a sin is a concern to Jesus.
He taught us how to put our brother back onto the right path
although respecting his liberty and if he refuses forgiveness
and continues his wrongdoing Jesus wanted to show us how to stay
in peace. It is at that moment that Jesus proclaimed according
to Mathew, 18, 18, "that what we bind or make loose on earth
will be bound or made loose in heaven".
To bind or make loose has to be taken in a positive way. To bind
evidently does not mean to attach with ropes but to unify, to
establish stimulating and living relationships.
Similarly make loose means to remove obstacles that can paralyze
a person and not to undo valuable relationships with others.
Of course there is the temptation of overusing our own authority,
including for the authority of the Church, in restraining or
putting heavy burdens on the shoulders of the others.
An extraordinary responsibility is given to us. Nothing human
is without consequence: our behaviour and actions have more importance
than we think. And even more, Jesus said, our behaviour towards
the others has not only a consequence for the others but has
a relationship with the nature of God Himself. It is the reason
why the quality of our relationships between each other are important
and also the loosening of all the constraints that can distort
our relationships with others.
The close relation between human and heaven matters, between
what we bind or make loose on earth and their consequences in
heaven were already expressed in Mathew Chapter 16. Jesus walking
and probably in search of his own identity, asked to his disciples:
"And you, who do you say that I am?" Peter then said:
"You are the anointed by God, the Christ, the Son of the
Jesus added that only a gift of God could allow recognizing
this fact. The divine filiation revealed in Jesus, gives to our
actions, to our way of doing a transcendental quality. Happy
you are, said Jesus to Peter (Happy we are!) because "it
is not your human being status that revealed this, it is my Father
who is in heaven (Mathew 16, 17)
In his teaching Jesus was not concerned by founding a new Church,
when he said in Mathew 16, 18,
"on this rock I will built my church", shall we
see it as a specific responsibility given to Peter or the engagement
of faith that is addressed to all of us?
- It is on the rock of such a faith that a community can
be built, a faith like the one shown by Peter, a faith to which
we are all called upon.
What is said, in the same terms, to Peter in Mathew Chapter 16,
and to every body in Chapter 18, means that the relationships
we make and the obstacles that we remove have a dimension of
eternity. The greatness and the profound dignity of a person
in reality come from our belonging to God and from Christ Jesus
who reveals them to us.