September 10: Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time: restoration of the erring brother or sister

September 6th, 2017

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First Reading : Ezekiel 33:7-9

 The Son of Man is appointed as guardian of Israel.

 

Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 95:1-2,6-9 

 Song of praise to God, our salvation.

 

Second Reading :Romans 13:8-10 

The Law is summarized in the commandment to love your neighbour as yourself.

 

Gospel : Matthew 18:15-20

 

Notice that both the Gospel and the First Reading presume that believers have a duty to correct sinners in our midst. Ezekiel is even told that he will be held accountable for their souls if he fails to speak out and try to correct them. This is the love that Paul in today’s Epistle says we owe to our neighbours. To love our neighbours as ourselves is to be vitally concerned for their salvation. We must make every effort, as Jesus says, to win our brothers and sisters back, to turn them from the false paths. We should never correct out of anger, or a desire to punish. Instead our message must be that of today’s Psalm - urging sinner to hear God’s voice, not to harden their hearts, and to remember that He is the one who made us, and the rock of our salvation.