Search This Blog

Showing posts with label Paul. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul. Show all posts

Sunday, December 20, 2020

A Homily - The Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year B)

First Reading – 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16 ©

Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 88(89):2-5, 27, 29 ©

Second Reading – Romans 16:25-27 ©

Gospel Acclamation – Luke 1:38

The Gospel According to Luke 1:26 – 38 ©


(NJB)



The Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year B)



All people of good faith should be mindful of this:


God, the creator of the universe; God does not appoint kings.


God dwells in all places at all times, and there is no place where God is not. There is no heart that God does not speak to, no people that God does not love.


God was never confined to a tent, nor ever to a temple. God does not favor kings or their sons. God is not a royalist.


God does not speak to God’s servants in words, like the words that I write here.


Strike these ideas and the myths that perpetuate them from the sacred text, they represent the vanity of human beings and nothing more.


The sacred texts are not a good place for nationalism and jingoism.


We must reject this language wherever we find it!


God, the creator of the universe, God does not favor one person over another, one family, one tribe, one nation.


God is a God of love and mercy, not a God of palace intrigues, not a God of battles.



God, the creator of the universe, God is wise. We are each created in the divine image, and God’s wisdom resides there, like a seed, the whole is in the part. 


Jesus exemplified this. He did not exemplify how faith (which means trust in the divine plan), made him obedient, but how faith (his trust in God) freed him to do what he knew in his heart was right.


God does not wish us to be servants and slaves, but partners in in the a ministry of justice and mercy.


Consider the Gospel reading for today.


Whatever the truth is regarding the birth of Jesus, known by his family Joshua son of Joseph, we may say this the way, which he preached is not served by false narratives.


The stories of Jesus’ birth, the annunciation as we have it presented here, these are myths. If we read them literally we are perpetuating propaganda and lies.


God is truth, and the way of God is not served by such prevarications.



First Reading – 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16 ©


Your House and Your Sovereignty will Always Stand Secure Before Me


Once David had settled into his house and the Lord had given him rest from all the enemies surrounding him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, ‘Look, I am living in a house of cedar while the ark of God dwells in a tent.’ Nathan said to the king, ‘Go and do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you.’


But that very night the word of the Lord came to Nathan:


‘Go and tell my servant David, “Thus the Lord speaks: Are you the man to build me a house to dwell in? I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader of my people Israel; I have been with you on all your expeditions; I have cut off all your enemies before you. I will give you fame as great as the fame of the greatest on earth. I will provide a place for my people Israel; I will plant them there and they shall dwell in that place and never be disturbed again; nor shall the wicked continue to oppress them as they did, in the days when I appointed judges over my people Israel; I will give them rest from all their enemies. The Lord will make you great; the Lord will make you a House. And when your days are ended and you are laid to rest with your ancestors, I will preserve the offspring of your body after you and make his sovereignty secure. I will be a father to him and he a son to me; if he does evil, I will punish him with the rod such as men use, with strokes such as mankind gives. Your House and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me and your throne be established for ever.”’

 


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 88(89):2-5, 27, 29 ©


I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.


I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord;

  through all ages my mouth will proclaim your truth.

Of this I am sure, that your love lasts for ever,

  that your truth is firmly established as the heavens.


I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.


‘I have made a covenant with my chosen one;

  I have sworn to David my servant:

I will establish your dynasty for ever

  and set up your throne through all ages.


I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.


‘He will say to me: “You are my father,

  my God, the rock who saves me.”

I will keep my love for him always;

  with him my covenant shall last.’


I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.



Second Reading – Romans 16:25-27 ©


The Mystery is Revealed that was Kept Secret for Endless Ages


Glory to him who is able to give you the strength to live according to the Good News I preach, and in which I proclaim Jesus Christ, the revelation of a mystery kept secret for endless ages, but now so clear that it must be broadcast to pagans everywhere to bring them to the obedience of faith. This is only what scripture has predicted, and it is all part of the way the eternal God wants things to be. He alone is wisdom; give glory therefore to him through Jesus Christ for ever and ever. Amen.



Gospel Acclamation – Luke 1:38


Alleluia, alleluia!


I am the handmaid of the Lord: let what you have said be done to me.


Alleluia!



The Gospel According to Luke 1:26 – 38 ©


'I Am the Handmaid of the Lord'


The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.



The Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year B)




Sunday, September 27, 2020

A Homily - The Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

First Reading – Ezekiel 18:25-28 ©

Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 24(25):4-9 ©

Second Reading – Philippians 2:1-11 ©

Gospel Acclamation – John 14:23

Alternative Acclamation – John 10:27

The Gospel According to Matthew 21:28 - 32 ©

 

(NJB)

 

The Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

 

 

Be mindful of the teachings of the prophet.

 

As much as we might wish it to be so, divine justice is not an analog of human justice, even when human justice is being represented at its best.

 

The goodness or wickedness of a human being is not based on the sum of their actions, as if you could measure their merit or weigh them in a scale. The relative values of good and evil are considered in relation to a person’s disposition and orientation to those values.

 

No human can judge the ultimate value, in terms of good and evil, of any person deeds, including their own. The things we do go out from us and take on a life of their own. Good intentions have harmful consequences, and evil deeds have good ones. This is one of the great mysteries. The things a person does in their life continue to shape the world long after they are gone; what matters in terms of merit or culpability is the intention that motivates the action and the reflection that follows.

 

Consider the words of the psalmist.

 

Lift up your spirit and give your life to God, the creator of the universe, to God who has given you everything.

 

Do not expect God to take sides with you in any conflict, because God loves all of God’s children equally. God does not discriminate. God does not pick favorites.

 

If you ask God to punish the faithless and the promise breakers, you must know that you are asking God to punish you—yourself.

 

Pray for wisdom and guidance, knowing that God desires for you be well, but God has made you and all of creation free, God will not intervene in the course of your life.

 

God is merciful, and God has allowed for your existence even knowing of all your crimes; Giod has known these since the beginning of time. God will forgive you for them but God will not forget them.

 

Remember; all the ways of God are kindness and mercy.

 

Walk humbly, love justice, act with mercy and compassion. This is the way of faith, which is trust in the Good News; the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

God is not concerned with glory. Jesus is not interested in having a name above all other names. Jesus is not a price or a king, he was our friend and brother.

 

Do not worry about bending the knee, just confess the truth that God is love, reflecting the love of God in your own life, in all the things you do.

 

Love fosters love, but there is always love and God is always with you.

 

Be mindful of this: the grace of God is not transactional.

 

Everyone who is, everyone without exception, follows in the way God has set for them, there is no other way. Do not trouble yourself if you do not understand the journey that another person is on, God is guiding them, just as God is guiding you.

 

If you resist, God will be patient.

 

If you delay God will wait, as God waits for everyone out of a superabundance of patience, kindness and love.

 

Believe!

 

God will not lose a single one of us; none of us will be lost to God. God is with us and there is no place where God is not.

 

Consider the gospel reading for today, it is a piece of pure politics.

 

The writers of Matthew’s gospel are making a direct appeal to the remnants of John’s followers, which is a recurring theme in Matthew, who would have us believe that John and Jesus were cousins.

 

The writers of Matthew are doing everything they can to bring John’s followers into the way, into the new church, both by convincing them that Jesus was the heir to John’s ministry, and by convincing the new church to accept the outcasts, to bring them in and not treat them as outsiders.

 

The words in the Gospel appear to be directed to the chief priests and elders of the temple, as well as the rabbinical authorities who were the leaders of the synagogues outside of Judea, but at the time Matthew’s gospel is being written they temple had been destroyed and the Jews had been scattered.

 

In reality these words are being addressed to the leaders of the new church, telling them to make room for the outsider, for the tax collector and the prostitute and the Children of Israel who were fleeing Judea in exile, those remnants of the people looking for safety and comfort in a new home.

 

 

First Reading – Ezekiel 18:25-28 ©

 

When the Sinner Renounces Sin, He Shall Certainly Live

 

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: ‘You object, “What the Lord does is unjust.” Listen, you House of Israel: is what I do unjust? Is it not what you do that is unjust? When the upright man renounces his integrity to commit sin and dies because of this, he dies because of the evil that he himself has committed. When the sinner renounces sin to become law-abiding and honest, he deserves to live. He has chosen to renounce all his previous sins; he shall certainly live; he shall not die.’

 

 

Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 24(25):4-9 ©

 

Remember your mercy, Lord.

 

Lord, make me know your ways.

  Lord, teach me your paths.

Make me walk in your truth, and teach me:

  for you are God my saviour.

 

Remember your mercy, Lord.

 

Remember your mercy, Lord,

  and the love you have shown from of old.

Do not remember the sins of my youth.

  In your love remember me,

  because of your goodness, O Lord.

 

Remember your mercy, Lord.

 

The Lord is good and upright.

  He shows the path to those who stray,

He guides the humble in the right path,

  He teaches his way to the poor.

 

Remember your mercy, Lord.

 

 

Second Reading – Philippians 2:1-11 ©

 

Be United in Your Love

 

If our life in Christ means anything to you, if love can persuade at all, or the Spirit that we have in common, or any tenderness and sympathy, then be united in your convictions and united in your love, with a common purpose and a common mind. That is the one thing which would make me completely happy. There must be no competition among you, no conceit; but everybody is to be self-effacing. Always consider the other person to be better than yourself, so that nobody thinks of his own interests first but everybody thinks of other people’s interests instead. In your minds you must be the same as Christ Jesus:

 

His state was divine, yet he did not cling to his equality with God but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave, and became as men are; and being as all men are, he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross.

 

But God raised him high and gave him the name which is above all other names so that all beings in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld, should bend the knee at the name of Jesus and that every tongue should acclaim Jesus Christ as Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

 

Gospel Acclamation – John 14:23

 

Alleluia, alleluia!

 

If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him.

 

Alleluia!

 

 

Alternative Acclamation – John 10:27

 

Alleluia, alleluia!

 

The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice, says the Lord, I know them and they follow me.

 

Alleluia!

 

 

The Gospel According to Matthew 21:28 - 32 ©

 

Tax Collectors and Prostitutes Are Entering the Kingdom of God Before You

Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people, ‘What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He went and said to the first, “My boy, you go and work in the vineyard today.” He answered, “I will not go,” but afterwards thought better of it and went. The man then went and said the same thing to the second who answered, “Certainly, sir,” but did not go. Which of the two did the father’s will?’ ‘The first’ they said. Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you, a pattern of true righteousness, but you did not believe him, and yet the tax collectors and prostitutes did. Even after seeing that, you refused to think better of it and believe in him.’

 

 

The Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)




Sunday, September 13, 2020

A Homily - The Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)


First Reading – Ecclesiasticus 27:33-28:9 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 102(103):1-4, 9-12 ©
Second Reading – Romans 14:7-9 ©
Gospel Acclamation – 1 Samuel 3:9, John 6:68
Alternative Acclamation – John 13:34
The Gospel According to Matthew 18:21 - 35 ©

(NJB)

The Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)



Love your neighbor, including the stranger among you. Pray for those who persecute you, forgive and seek forgiveness, accept it when it is offered.

Walk with humility, be merciful and love justice all the days of your life, these are the teaching of Jesus.

Where the author of Ecclesiasticus errs is when he suggests that God keeps account of our sins; the creator of the universe is not a bookkeeper, or a banker. Our lives are not summarized by a double entry ledger, marking our merits and demerits.

The economy of salvation is not a marketplace where we exchange mercy for mercy.

Grace is a gift, and all of God’s children receive it freely.

No one is left out.

Consider the words of the psalmist:

Give thanks to God, for the peace of God’s blessing, for the blessing of life, of freedom, of self-determination and every other aspect of our being that contributes to our personhood.

Give thanks to those who are loving, to the peacemakers and bless them as you are able.

Bless all of God’s children, as God does, love them all, both the good and the bad, the helpful and the harmful, the just and the unjust.

And remember this, God is not a king, God is not a Lord. God does not favor one group over another. God does not intervene in the affairs of human beings.

God, the creator of the universe, God is the God of everything, of everyone, in all places and all times.

God always identifies with us, desires what is good for us and works in subtle ways to bring us toward that end. God is confident of God’s plan and the fulfillment of God’s will, even if we are not.

Listen!

When leaders arise among us we must acknowledge them; when that leadership is pure, and we see that their work is holy we must acknowledge that. Though in acknowledging these things it is important that we do not embellish.

Know this:

God speaks to all people. God speaks in the human heart. God is present to anyone who will listen, but God does not favor some over others, and God does not appear in visions.

In every way, but the way of the hear, God is silent.

This is the good news: God loves you and you are saved. You are not saved for anything that you have done, you did not earn your salvation, you are saved because God loves you.

The promise of salvation is not that you will be spared from suffering and torment in hell, or that when you are judged God will forgive you.

God has already forgiven you. You are already saved.

God has prepared you as God has prepared everyone, for eternal life.

Believe it!

Let the goodness of the promise flow through you now, and start living this life as if it were true.

We are not called to believe in the idea that Jesus is this or that, the Holy One of God, we are called to act on the principles of his faith, to live lives of charity and service to one another.


Love one another.

To follow Jesus is to lead with love.

Love as Jesus loved. Be humble, be merciful, be just.

Be prepared to risk everything for the sake of love, even your life.

In this way you will be true to Jesus, there is no other way.

Faith (which is the trust we place in God); faith is not about words, it is about actions. Faith is not ideology, it is not partisan, it is not dogmatic, it is not doctrinaire. Faith is not a legally binding agreement or a contract. Faith is not concerned with creeds, or secrets, or magic words.

Faith is love.

Consider the gospel for today:

Forgive, be merciful.

Forget every word in this passage except these:

Do not settle on merely forgiving someone seven times, but forgive them seventy-seven times.

Do not place limits on your mercy.

If it is in your power to forgive someone, forgive them.

Forgive your sister and brother, your father and mother, your neighbor, the stranger, even the one who persecuted you.

Forgive them from your heart, and forgive yourself.

Do not be like the servant who receives mercy, and then refuses to be merciful.

Do not be like Peter who time and time again failed to understand the teaching of Jesus.

The writers of Matthew’s Gospel remembered to articulate the endless bounty of Jesus’ compassion. They remembered this and placed that at the beginning of this passage.

Forgive the wrongdoer, Jesus said, not once, not twice, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

They remembered this and then quickly drafted a parable in which the principle actor fails to follow suit, forgiving his servant once, but not a second time.

Follow Jesus, and correct the Church.


First Reading – Ecclesiasticus 27:33-28:9 ©

Forgive Your Neighbour the Hurt He Does You; and When You Pray, Your Sins Will Be Forgiven

Resentment and anger, these are foul things, and both are found with the sinner.

He who exacts vengeance will experience the vengeance of the Lord, who keeps strict account of sin.

Forgive your neighbour the hurt he does you, and when you pray, your sins will be forgiven.

If a man nurses anger against another, can he then demand compassion from the Lord?

Showing no pity for a man like himself, can he then plead for his own sins?

Mere creature of flesh, he cherishes resentment; who will forgive him his sins?

Remember the last things, and stop hating, remember dissolution and death, and live by the commandments.

Remember the commandments, and do not bear your neighbour ill-will; remember the covenant of the Most High, and overlook the offence.


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 102(103):1-4, 9-12 ©

The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.

My soul, give thanks to the Lord
  all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
  and never forget all his blessings.

The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.

It is he who forgives all your guilt,
  who heals every one of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave,
  who crowns you with love and compassion.

The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.

His wrath will come to an end;
  he will not be angry for ever.
He does not treat us according to our sins
  nor repay us according to our faults.

The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.

For as the heavens are high above the earth
  so strong is his love for those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west
  so far does he remove our sins.

The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.


Second Reading – Romans 14:7-9 ©

Alive or Dead, We Belong to the Lord

The life and death of each of us has its influence on others; if we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord, so that alive or dead we belong to the Lord. This explains why Christ both died and came to life: it was so that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.


Gospel Acclamation – 1 Samuel 3:9, John 6:68

Alleluia, alleluia!

Speak, Lord, your servant is listening: you have the message of eternal life.

Alleluia!


Alternative Acclamation – John 13:34

Alleluia, alleluia!

I give you a new commandment: love one another just as I have loved you, says the Lord.

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to Matthew 18:21 - 35 ©

To Be forgiven, You Must forgive

Peter went up to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.
 
‘And so the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who decided to settle his accounts with his servants. When the reckoning began, they brought him a man who owed ten thousand talents; but he had no means of paying, so his master gave orders that he should be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, to meet the debt. At this, the servant threw himself down at his master’s feet. “Give me time” he said “and I will pay the whole sum.” And the servant’s master felt so sorry for him that he let him go and cancelled the debt. Now as this servant went out, he happened to meet a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii; and he seized him by the throat and began to throttle him. “Pay what you owe me” he said. His fellow servant fell at his feet and implored him, saying, “Give me time and I will pay you.” But the other would not agree; on the contrary, he had him thrown into prison till he should pay the debt. His fellow servants were deeply distressed when they saw what had happened, and they went to their master and reported the whole affair to him. Then the master sent for him. “You wicked servant,” he said “I cancelled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me. Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow servant just as I had pity on you?” And in his anger the master handed him over to the torturers till he should pay all his debt. And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart.’


The Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Monday, September 7, 2020

Homily - The Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)


First Reading – Ezekiel 33:7-9 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 94(95):1-2, 6-9 ©
Second Reading – Romans 13:8-10 ©
Gospel Acclamation – John 17:17
Alternative Acclamation – 2 Corinthians 5:19
The Gospel According to Matthew 18:15 - 20 ©

(NJB)

The Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)



Listen to the prophet and be mindful!

We are one family and we are made to love one another, to care for one another, to be watchful and take steps to protect one another. This is what it means to be in community, to live together as a family, and this is what Ezekiel intends to convey.

However, today’s reading makes the mistake of promoting an image of God and God’s justice that deviates from the way Jesus followed and encouraged us to join. Ezekiel’s instinct is to circumscribe God’s love, making God a cruel judge and an executioner rather than a healer.

Consider this wisdom from the psalmist.

It is God who makes us well, who creates in us the possibility of wellbeing.

God is our wellbeing, but God is not a king, and there are no other gods.

All of creation belongs to God, all that is good and all that frightens us, everything comes from God and will redound to the good, ultimately.

It is good that we show our respect for the creator and to sing songs in praise of God, but remember, God is our loving parent, and God has prepared each of us for God’s blessing.

Listen to the apostle when he says that love is the law!
Let the knowledge of the law fill your heart, so that it governs you interpretation of it; love with justice, justice with mercy, love with respect, respect with caring.

Our hearts must always be focused on the other, knowing that God is present in the spirit of our neighbors.

Listen!

You cannot lie and serve God at one and the same time.


The apostle tells us in the simplest of terms that the mission of the church is to announce the reconciliation. Everyone is reconciled in the loving embrace of God, God who created the universe. The members of the church are meant to be ambassadors of this good news.

The church is not, nor should it ever be a recruiting agency, with the purpose of signing up members for whom the reward is reconciliation. The reconciliation has already occurred, it occurred in Christ at the beginning of time.

The mission of the church is to proclaim it.

Consider the Gospel reading for today:

Always be wary of the scriptures that cast Jesus in the role of a litigator, a legislator, as the author the law code. These are the machinations of later generation, writing into the sacred text a justification for the authority they have usurped. They put words into the mouth of Jesus, making both him and themselves into liars.

This is the summary of the reflections Jesus gave on the law:

Love God with all your strength, all your heart and all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.

That is the whole of the law.

The ministry of Jesus was a ministry characterized by mercy. He said do not forgive seven times, but seventy-seven times, and if you go to prayer while there is a conflict between you and your sister or brother, go first to your sister or brother, resolve the conflict, and do not return to prayer until you do.

Every community has a duty to protect itself from dangerous people and predators. Jesus was not suggesting that we keep our doors open to violent, deranged and dangerous people…our hearts yes, but not our doors.

However, if the recalcitrant member of the community is just a stubborn person, or merely argumentative, if they are someone with a different understanding of the faith and the way, and they will not conform to the norms of the community…by all means treat them as Jesus would have treated a pagan or a tax collector, invite them dinner, sit down and eat with them, do not refuse them anything.

This is the way.

Do not believe the Church when it claims to have the authority to free people, or put them in chains, either here or in the world to come. The Church does not have that authority, the disciples did not have that authority. The claim to possess that authority is derived from fear, the fear of losing control over the communities they presided over.

Every single one of us possess the power to forgive, to forgive those who have done us harm, so that the harm they have done ceases to have power over us. We have the power to forgive ourselves…more importantly to accept the forgiveness of those we have harmed, so that our guilt does not continue to be a stain on us, and a determinant of our path in life.

We have both the power and the obligation as followers of the way to do so.


First Reading – Ezekiel 33:7-9 ©

If You do not Speak to the Wicked Man, I Will Hold You Responsible for His Death

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: ‘Son of man, I have appointed you as sentry to the House of Israel. When you hear a word from my mouth, warn them in my name. If I say to a wicked man: Wicked wretch, you are to die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked man to renounce his ways, then he shall die for his sin, but I will hold you responsible for his death. If, however, you do warn a wicked man to renounce his ways and repent, and he does not repent, then he shall die for his sin, but you yourself will have saved your life.’


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 94(95):1-2, 6-9 ©

O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’

Come, ring out our joy to the Lord;
  hail the rock who saves us.
Let us come before him, giving thanks,
  with songs let us hail the Lord.

O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’

Come in; let us bow and bend low;
  let us kneel before the God who made us:
for he is our God and we
  the people who belong to his pasture,
  the flock that is led by his hand.

O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’

O that today you would listen to his voice!
  ‘Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
  as on that day at Massah in the desert
when your fathers put me to the test;
  when they tried me, though they saw my work.’

O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’


Second Reading – Romans 13:8-10 ©

Your Only Debt Should be the Debt of Mutual Love

Avoid getting into debt, except the debt of mutual love. If you love your fellow men you have carried out your obligations. All the commandments: You shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall not steal, you shall not covet, and so on, are summed up in this single command: You must love your neighbour as yourself. Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour; that is why it is the answer to every one of the commandments.


Gospel Acclamation – John 17:17

Alleluia, alleluia!

Your word is truth, O Lord: consecrate us in the truth.

Alleluia!



Alleluia, alleluia!

God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself, and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled.

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to Matthew 18:15 - 20 ©

If your Brother Listens to you, you Have Won Back your Brother

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, between your two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you: the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain any charge. But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community; and if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a pagan or a tax collector.
 
‘I tell you solemnly, whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.

  ‘I tell you solemnly once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them.’



The Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)