May the Lord bless you with peace in the Holy Spirit.
It is on 10th September 2023. We celebrate the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time.
We reflect on Ezekiel 33:7-9; the second reading is from Romans 13:8-10; and the Gospel from Matthew 18:15-20.
We live in a world of innumerable possibilities and in an environment of indifferences. We love someone mostly if the other one does not point out our most vulnerable side. We would rather be happy if nothing is said about the areas, we have made mistakes. Most of us have an attitude crisis that as long as we don’t look at our wounds and clean them so long, we will not open our wounds. We would be pleased to live with the wounds within and around us.
A lot of us love to be appreciated, applauded, and recognized not wishing to be corrected and given a deeper level to look at ourselves. But the first reading teaches us that we all have a moral duty to bring back the sinner to the right path. It is a spiritual and social duty and responsibility to help someone who is doing evil to stop what they are doing.
In the first reading, from the Old Testament Prophet Ezekiel, we are warned that if we do not try to turn the wicked from their ways then we will be held responsible for their punishment. This is a further reminder of our duty to spread the Gospel of love.
St. Paul reminds us in the second reading, that to tell someone, we must be charitable not rude and arrogant. We must not be blunt slashing people off gentle with our integrity and nobility. Out of love, we need to point out what is lacking not out of compulsion and force. When we live by love, we will be all able to influence and have a positive impact on the lives of others.
In the Gospel, Jesus echoes the words of the prophet Ezekiel that we need to win people back when they have been misled. Jesus offers a model of correcting and leading the others to right path. We need to utilize all the possible platforms and personnel in helping the other such as the community, the church, and the friendship.
When we engage in leading others, we need to be extremely careful to have the moral integrity to correct the other whom we are already familiar with. We will be looking for trouble if we are correcting the strangers. We can only correct the other in so far as the other person belongs to the community and our friendship circle.
We do not have the mandate to correct everyone. We need to be charitable in correcting the other person. It is better to observe everything, overlook many things and correct only one thing at a time personally and lovingly.
May God grant us the inner stamina to say what others are afraid to listen to inside of themselves.
May you have a good day.