Domingo, 07 de septiembre de 2014

Catholic Calendar
and Daily Meditation

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Scripture for Sunday's Liturgy of the Word:

Ezekiel 33:7-9
Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
Romans 13:8-10
Matthew 18:15-20

A reflection on today's Sacred Scriptures:

Am I my brother's keeper?

This was the lame excuse Cain gave to God ages ago when asked where his brother Abel was.

At many different times, God tells us that we are responsible for each other's well-being. Each person on this earth can have an effect for the good or evil of our society, and God will surely call us to an accounting at the end of our lives.

In today's first reading, God says to Ezekiel, "You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel." Then, by order of God, Ezekiel is to draw a picture for his fellow countrymen showing what a watchman is like and what he is expected to do.

He draws a picture for them of Israel at war. A watchman is chosen to be on the lookout for the enemy forces. When he spots them, he is to sound a trumpet to warn them. If they heed his warning and take shelter, then they will be saved, but if they ignore the trumpet alert and perish, it will not be held against the watchman.

He incurs no guilt, because he has done his duty. He has given them due warning. Now, it is the duty of each individual citizen to act accordingly; if he fails to do so, he bears the responsibility for whatever harm comes.

In an earlier chapter of Ezekiel, we find the same words, but with a shocking twist: God is seen as warning the people that He Himself may come at an unexpected hour to call them to judgment! We are indeed our brother's keepers; we are watchmen for the Lord's coming!

In the Gospel reading from Matthew, we have the same message. Each one of us has a duty to warn our brother and sister of the consequences when they sin. First, take them aside privately so as not to embarrass them. If they don't do anything about it, then take one or two witnesses with you when you warn them.

If all else fails, call the Church together (i.e., ask your pastor to help you out)! These are the rules for fraternal correction. When are we excused from this procedure? Spiritual writers say that if we know the person will get extremely angry, or when we're certain that it won't work!

St. Paul, in the second reading, backs up this teaching when he says, "Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another, for one who loves another has fulfilled the Law." All ten commandments are fulfilled when we love God and our neighbor as we love ourselves.

We mustn't let ourselves off too lightly. The process of forgiveness and the work of reconciliation are likely some of the most difficult aspects of Christian life for many followers of Jesus.

The well-worn maxim "forgive and forget" can apply to many grievances. Indeed, psychologically it may be easier to settle on forgiveness in one's heart and let go of the past, than to wrestle with the complicated process of reconciliation. Forgiveness can allow us to put the past behind us, to achieve a certain measure of peace, even if relationships are not restored.

Reconciliation is more difficult, because it struggles with the demands of justice. Reconciliation requires an encounter between offender and offended and a movement on the part of both toward a restored equilibrium. It is no wonder that in his Second Letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul calls this task the ministry of reconciliation, for it is truly that kind of work ~ can be hard.

We pray this weekend for all world leaders who send ambassadors to other nations to engage in that work. And we pray that each one of us can engage in that ministry when it's needed at home.

- Msgr. Paul Whitmore | email: pwhitmore29( )  

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Publicado por verdenaranja @ 18:48  | Espiritualidad
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