Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings:  Ezekiel 33:7-9; Romans 18:8-10; Matthew 18:15-20



What did you hear in the Scripture Readings from the Prophet Ezekiel, St. Paul’s Letters to the people of Rome and from Jesus in the Gospel according to Matthew?

And whatever it was, just maybe the Responsorial Psalm sums it up: If today your hear His voice, harden not your hearts!

I would suggest a few things that our God wants us not only to hear, but to live more deeply and more faithfully each day, as person, family and parish, for starters.

For sure we are all sinners.  For sure, none of us is perfect.

As Pope Francis shared recently, “the Lord always forgives us and walks at our side.  We have to let Him do that.”

Today Scriptures remind us of how to let God into our lives.  God wants us to listen to what HE has to say.

We do listen, but how are we living it?

We do so,  not because God says so, but because God lived it himself as the Word made flesh:  Jesus, our Friend, Brother and Savior.

As one priest said in a tweet, reflecting on the Pope’s admonition not to judge people, not to gossip about people:

“The Gospel says: stop judging, stop condemning.  That’s Jesus speaking to the people of His day.  That’s also Jesus talking to everyone on Twitter.”

Second, God says, “Love one another” and “do no evil to others.”

God knows there are far too many examples (big and small) of our evil, our hatred of others at home and across our world.

Again, as Pope Francis shared recently, “Christians know how to give.  Their lives are filled with generous acts, sometimes hidden, towards their neighbors.”

Now you might be saying:  Father, the scriptures today also speak about addressing the faults of others.  For sure there is a place for this, but not as often as maybe some would think.  And maybe this following story is a remind of this:

A mother, whose son had an insatiable desire for sweets, brought him a long distance to talk to Gandhi, the Holy Man of India, who told them to come back in two weeks.  When they came back, Gandhi told the boy to stop eating so much sugar and the boy agreed.        The mother then asked Gandhi, “Why did you not just say this to the boy two weeks ago and save me the hardship of traveling back here?”

Gandhi replied, “Two weeks ago, I ate too many sweets.  I needed to see if I could stop before I counseled the boy.”

Finally, let’s pray each day for ourselves, for our family, for one another, that we will live a bit more consciously the voice of God we hear daily.  A voice that calls us to love God and to love one another in word and deed a little bit more today than the day before!

We owe it to one another!