Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Readings for Sunday, September 10th, 2017
Reading 1, Ezekiel 33:7-9
7 'Son of man I have appointed you as watchman for the House of Israel. When you hear a word from my mouth, warn them from me.
8 If I say to someone wicked, "Evil- doer, you are to die," and you do not speak to warn the wicked person to renounce such ways, the wicked person will die for this guilt, but I shall hold you responsible for the death.
The Word of The Lord
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
1 Come, let us cry out with joy to Yahweh, acclaim the rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving, acclaim him with music.
6 Come, let us bow low and do reverence; kneel before Yahweh who made us!
7 For he is our God, and we the people of his sheepfold, the flock of his hand. If only you would listen to him today!
8 Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah, as at the time of Massah in the desert,
9 when your ancestors challenged me, put me to the test, and saw what I could do!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel, Matthew 18:15-20
"If your brother sins against you"
15 'If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, between your two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.
16 If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you: whatever the misdemeanour, the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain the charge.
17 But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community; and if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a gentile or a tax collector.
20 For where two or three meet in my name, I am there among them.'
Reading 2, Romans 13:8-10
8 The only thing you should owe to anyone is love for one another, for to love the other person is to fulfil the law.
9 All these: You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet, and all the other commandments that there are, are summed up in this single phrase: You must love your neighbour as yourself.
10 Love can cause no harm to your neighbour, and so love is the fulfilment of the Law.
The Word of the Lord.
Reflection: When you are offended, are you willing to put aside your own grievance and injury in order to help your brother's wound? The Lord Jesus wants to set us free from resentment, ill-will, and an unwillingness to forgive. The love of Christ both purifies and sets us free to do good to all - even those who cause us grief. The call to accountability for what we have done and have failed to do is inevitable and we can't escape it, both in this life and at the day of judgment when the Lord Jesus will return. But while we have the opportunity today, we must not give up on praying for those who cause us offense. With God's help we must seek to make every effort to win them with the grace and power of God's healing love and wisdom. Do you tolerate broken relationships or do you seek to repair them as God gives you the opportunity to mend and restore what is broken?
Prayer: "Lord Jesus, make me an instrument of your healing love and peace. Give me wisdom and courage to bring your healing love and saving truth to those in need of healing and restoration." Amen
Don't brood over an offense - speak directly and privately