TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
“Each of us is the result of a thought of God.
One of the unfortunate consequences of our modern world is individualism. The concept of thinking and caring about oneself without paying attention to the circumstances of a neighbor has gradually succeeded to erode our communal life in our families, marital relations, friendship and the society at large. Hence, the prevalence of private life and defense of personal rights without recourse to their consequences to their fellow human beings.
Because of this we sometimes live as if we were enemies to one another, selfish inclinations, breaking the chain of our social life, behaving as if we are independent of one another, sometimes we have created barriers of no trespassing. But no man is an island. We need one another for survival and existence. So, whatever we do as individuals at large has consequential effects directly or indirectly on the other in the society. Our actions, inactions, choices, decisions, planning, etc. should be executed with circumspect.
Such is the situation our readings seek to address. So, in the first reading God appointed Ezekiel to be a watchman for the house of Israel. He becomes the mouthpiece of God to warn them against their transgressions from His commandments and moral dangers. If he failed, he was going to be responsible for the death of the sinner. As Christians we must also see ourselves as the “EZEKIELS” in our contemporary society.
By our sacramental baptism we are prophets to one another. It is an obligation to give the words of God to people, to challenge and correct them from time to time. We are charged with a responsibility to remain faithful to our prophetic mission, confronting the people with their own sins and waywardness. Therefore, we have a spiritual responsibility and moral accountability for anything that happens in our families, relationships, faith communities and the society. Something we dare not fail, because we will be held accountable for the death of the erring fellow. Just be each other’s keeper!
That is why the Psalmist echoes, “If you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”
Therefore, Paul, in the second reading, inspires us that we owe each other nothing but love. Our obedience of the commandments is an expression of our love for our neighbor making us avoid doing evil to them. By this he encourages that love demands that we watch over one another’s souls and it specifies our exercise of watchful care of one another. We need mutual and self-giving love for both physical and spiritual efforts. Christians are obligated to respect that.
In conclusion, Jesus Christ teaches about fraternal correction. He draws our attention to the protocols of correction. In His attempt to motivate us to consistently seek to restore and sustain a healthy relationship with our erring fellow, He reminds us about our baptismal responsibilities towards one another whether they sin by omission or commission. He indeed shows us how to deal and finally mend our broken relationship within our families, Christian fellowship, marriages, friendships and communities. Never grow tired of winning your brethren because God has not given up on us yet! To err is human, to forgive is divine. Our forgiveness is an extension and a participation in a divine activity. Let people see the God in you. Forgiveness is a bridge, do not break it! Do not give up on your erring brethren. Just show love.
Stay Healthy… Faith over fear… Keep the faith… Let us meet to worship the Lord…
Let us live in PEACE but not in PIECES…
Fr. Emmanuel hails from Ghana and is passionate about the Gospel and bringing the love of Christ to all people. He speaks several languages, enjoys soccer and cooking, and loves St. Francis of Assisi.