Sunday 10 September 2023

About Today Readings

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Ezekiel 33:7-9. O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your hearts – Psalm 94(95):1-2, 6-9. Romans 13:8-10. Matthew 18:15-20.

Trust, transparency and true love

Trust and transparency are the themes today – ingredients for true synodality. Give a person the chance to do the right thing; love your neighbour as yourself covers all the commandments; have witnesses present when there is conflict – pretty straightforward messaging. The challenging aspects for us today is that lawyering and fear can stop a person acting on a warning, loving yourself appears to be a complex idea with increasing negative mental health and decreasing resilience, and witnesses might not be altogether helpful. Let’s focus on the love aspect and the comment from Jesus that he is with us when two or three meet in his name. ‘Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour; that is why it is the answer to every one of the commandments,’ St Paul reassures us. We know that Jesus’ love is embracing, inclusive and challenging to those who cause harm for their own gain, own politics. We know that Jesus’ love is forgiving. Maybe when we gather in his name when passing judgment on others or creating conditions for community we can be reminded of his trust and transparency and true love for humanity.

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