A Brother Who Sins – Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Lesson Overview

Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

In this week鈥檚 Gospel passage, Jesus outlines how to settle disputes among our brothers and sisters in Christ. Holding our brothers and sisters accountable for their sinful actions can help reunite them with the Church and bring us all closer to Christ. In this week鈥檚 lesson, students will contemplate how to give fraternal correction in charity

Lesson Materials


  1. Have your students read the Gospel passage, or read it aloud to your students, and then answer the focus questions.
  2. Review and discuss the answers when they have completed the focus questions.
  3. Arrange students into small groups and distribute to them the Fraternal Correction Scenarios handout. Have them read each scenario and come up with the best way to handle each situation using the Gospel to support their answer.
  4. When they have finished, call on students to share and discuss their answers.

Answer Key

聽Focus Questions

  1. He says you should take your brother privately aside and let him know what he has done to wrong you.
  2. You will have won your brother over.
  3. You should take him before two or three witnesses and explain the wrong done. If he still doesn鈥檛 listen, you should tell the church. After that, you should treat him like a Gentile or a tax collector.
  4. They are bound and loosed in Heaven.
  5. That what they pray for will be granted by the Father.
  6. Jesus will be in their midst.

Fraternal Correction Scenarios

  1. Confront your friend and tell him what he is doing will get him into trouble.
  2. Tell one or two other friends about the situation and ask them to help you talk some sense into your friend.
  3. Tell his parents or report him to his boss or the police.
  4. You probably cannot help someone who has shown repeatedly that he does not want to be helped. Pray for him. Be a friend to his family members.
  5. Friendship is based on desiring what is good for our friend. Sin harms us and harms others. Sin also hurt our relationship with God. Therefore, holding our friends accountable for sinful actions is a sign of love and mercy. Accept other reasoned answers.

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