Gods Sovereign Symphony-Matthew 18:18-20
“Binding and loosing” is a phrase which comes from the rabbis. It refers to the authority to make decisions binding on the people of God.
This authority includes interpreting and applying the Word of God and admitting people to and excommunicating them from the community of faith. For the Jews this meant the community of Israel. For Christians this means the Church.
In Matthew 16:19 Jesus gives this authority over his Church to Peter: “whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”
In Matthew 18:18, he gives the power to all the apostles: “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.”
What the Apostle Peter possessed as an individual, the apostles as a whole possessed as leaders of the Church.
And so we continue to read in Matthew 18:19:
“Again I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning any thing whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by my Father who is in heaven.”
The word translated "consent" or in other translations “agree” in verse 19, is the Greek word sumphoneo, from which our English word "symphony" is derived. Jesus was referring in these verses to a unity among the Apostles, that would be like a musical symphony. Symphony implies a deep harmony of spirit between those apostles and their successors. Symphony implies a deep harmony of spirit between those Bishops, their successors and their Pope. When the Church is like the symphony produced by a well-conducted orchestra, then (Jesus said) their prayers and their leadership will have such authority that anything they asked for would be granted.
The reason why such a Church could exercise the 'binding and loosing authority' was explained by Jesus: "For", He said, "where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Christ the Head is present with all His authority in the midst of such a Church, and therefore the powers of Hell can never stand against it.
One reason why the Church described in The Acts of the Apostles knew the reality of this authority was because Peter our first Pope and the other apostles together had this harmony.
"All of these (Peter and the other apostles) were persevering with one mind in prayer"..... "And all they that believed, were together....And continuing daily with one ACCORD in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house"...... And they (the apostles and other believers).....”with one accord lifted up their voice to God"......(Acts 1:14; 2:44,46; 4:24).
Because they were integrated into one spiritual Body under the authority of Christ and His representative here on earth, they could exercise the Lord's authority in prayer. They were not highly educated, they had no social influence and no financial backing, yet they turned the then-known world upside down for Christ.
Today Satan ridicules the efforts of a disunited Church that says they speak for God but are full of adultery and unnatural affections of all sorts. We have liars, gossipers, hypocrites and lovers of this world flooding our Parishes. Those that call themselves the Church have for a foundation, not the Word of God but a humanistic, modern philosophy that does not and can not avail against Satan.
The Church needs to know again the reality of being one Body united.
A symphony that includes Sacred Scriptures, Apostolic Tradition, and Church's Magisterium, together playing harmonious music that is conducted by the Holy Spirit, and played for God the Fathers honor and glory!
A Church properly related to each other, growing in love for one another and living in obedience to is the greatest threat to the kingdom of the Devil on earth. Satan dreads nothing else as much as that. Let us make it our prayer that the Lord will help us to live each day in the light of the glorious truth of the Body. As more and more Catholics throughout the world begin to understand and to live by this truth, we shall assuredly see the Church, though small in number, restored to her pristine glory, an instrument in God's Hands to rout the forces of darkness and a channel of blessing to a needy world.