Friday, 5 September 2014

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Some Thoughts

FIRST READING: Thus says the LORD: You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel; when you hear me say anything, you shall warn them for me......
  • In the First Reading, we see Ezekiel receiving his commissioning given him directly from the Lord. "... I have appointed you ..."  The job of the prophet is to be God's messenger, the voice of God speaking to God's people. He is to be the "conscience" of Israel, causing the people to rethink the way they are choosing to live their lives, calling them back when they wander off the path of God. Ezekiel is reminded that this calling is a serious responsibility with serious consequences for himself should he renege.
  • When Jesus begins his ministry, given him by the Father, he stands up in the midst of the people, and with the words of the prophet Isaiah, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor ..." Lk. 4:18, Jesus announces that a new prophetic era, a new evangelization is beginning. This one comes with an even greater urgency and responsibility, and this message from God is for all the world to hear and heed. Beginning on Pentecost day, this new prophetic commission, to evangelization is placed upon all who are baptized, they are the new prophet/evangelists of God.
PSALM: Oh, that today you would hear his voice: “Harden not your hearts . . .”
  • Not only do the prophet/evangelists have the serious responsibility to speak God's message, but all people of the world have the responsibility to hear it and fulfill it.  The new prophet/evangelists do not have to bring about change by forcing people to listen but by inspiring them to see the truth of their message in action and so embrace it. And as the people hear and see this message from God, the responsibility to act on it is now placed upon them.

SECOND READING: Love does no evil to the neighbor.
  • The Message the new prophet/evangelists are sent to announce is clear and begins with this principle, "Do no evil to your neighbor." From this principle, the full message from God begins to unfold. (See Matthew 5)

GOSPEL: For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
  • This brings us to the central reason why such importance and urgency is given to our gathering for Sunday Mass. We realize that we are all called to be prophet/evangelists to our generation, and like Ezekiel we realize this is a commissioning we must take seriously. Coming to Sunday Mass is a serious business. We come to fill our minds and hearts with God's message, the message we must now proclaim in the world. We come to Sunday Mass to be taught by God. To see in Jesus his Son, the perfect fulfillment of all that God desires for the world, and how we in turn are to imitated Jesus, making him seen and heard by our lives. But we may tremble before the thought of such a enormous task, and task that is far beyond our human resources. So we come to Sunday Mass to be empowered, filled with the inspiration and power we will need. As we rise from the Table of the Word and the Table of the Eucharist, our very being is filled with Christ's presence. We now say with Saint Paul, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20

Featured Videos

Featured Videos.