XXIII Sunday of Ordinary Time

Por: Redacción de Palabra Nueva

Palabra de Hoy
Palabra de Hoy

September 6, 2020

“Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them, “

saith the Lord.


First Reading

Reading Ezekiel’s Prophecy 33, 7-9

This is what the Lord says:
“To thee, son of a man, I have put you as a sentinel in the house of Israel; when you hear a word from my mouth, you’ll warn them for me.
If I say to the wicked, ‘Evil, you are a death insaer’, but you do not speak to warn the wicked to change his behavior, he is an evil man and he will die because of him, but I will ask you to account for his blood.
But if you warn the wicked to change behavior, and he doesn’t, he will die because of him, but you will have saved his life.”


Exit 94, 1-2. 6-7. 8-9

R/. May you hear the voice of the Lord today:

“Don’t harden your heart.”

Come, let us acclaim the Lord,
let us give cheers to the Rock that saves us;
let us enter his presence by thanking him,
cheering him up with songs. R/.

Come on in, let’s prostrate ourselves overland,
blessing the Lord, our creator.
Because he is our God,
and we,” his people,
the herd he guides. R/.

May you hear your voice today:
“Do not harden your heart as in Meribá,
like Masa’s day in the desert;
when his parents put me to the test
and tempted me, even though they had seen my works.” R/.

Second Reading

Reading the Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Romans 13, 8-10

No one is given anything but mutual love; because the one he loves has complied with the rest of the law. In fact, “you will not commit adultery, you will not kill, you will not steal, you will not covet”, and any of the other commandments, is summed up in this:
“You will love your neighbor as yourself.”
Love does not hurt your neighbor; that’s why the fulness of the law is love.


Reading the Holy Gospel according to Matthew 18, 15-20

At that time, Jesus said to his disciples:
“If your brother sins against you, give it up when you are both alone. If he listens to you, you saved your brother.
If you don’t listen, call another or two others, so that the whole thing is confirmed by the mouth of two or three witnesses. If you don’t listen to them, tell the community, and if you don’t even listen to the community, consider it a heathen or a publican.
I truly tell you that everything you love on earth will be bound in heaven, and everything you unleash on earth will be unleashed in heaven.
I also tell you that if two of you agree on earth to ask for something, my Father who is in heaven will give it to you. Because where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”


Jesus Christ continues to instruct his disciples and so do we. Today’s Gospel offers us three teachings of Jesus: the importance of fraternal correction, the power to forgive in the ecclesial community, and the communal value of prayer. Certainly all of them have a common thread which is, in the face of the individualism of an introspective and solitary experience of religion, the relevance of living the Christian faith in community, in the communion of the Church. We come across the so-called “ecclesiological discourse” of the Gospel of Matthew, because it contemplates the basic standards of behavior of a Christian community: forgiveness, understanding, solidarity.

This human and Christian perspective that Jesus offers us today clashes head-on with the individualistic and selfish world in which we live, where we often hear that no matter what others do “as long as it does not harm me directly and immediately”; “everyone over there with their own stuff.” Individualism that is imbued with brutal selfishness, and manifests itself at all levels… family, work, social, international…

Jesus invites us to think that, both in the relationship with God and in the relationship between us, there is a co-responsibility that we cannot avoid. We are co-responsible for each other because we live in society, because God has created us in community, because human beings are a relational being. And faith, as a human and Christian reality, is also lived in communion and community, in the Church.

That is why we must naturally assume the easy task of fraternal correction. It is an exercise in charity, a work of mercy… one of the works of mercy: correcting the wrong one. Each of us is the sentinel spoken to us by the prophet Ezekiel at first reading, invited to proclaim the Word of God entirely, without sub-title or accommodative nuances.

Seeking truth and living in truth is the principle that must always drive us; but truth must be accompanied by love. Truth without love can become a wounding sword, a crushing sning. Saint Teresa of Jesus always invited someone to wait to be filled with love and then bring them to the truth.

We must correct ourselves as God corrects us, with patience, with mercy. In fraternal correction we must avoid arrogance, prejudice, puritanism, the prevalence of the law or the norm on the person, unjustified impositions without arguments, the affluent reductionisms of truth, personalisms, false humility that remains an overlapping exercise of pride.

Sometimes it is painful how we correct, without discretion, without knowing how to wait for the right time, lacking human tact and Christian charity. Instead of doing as Jesus says, we do it the other way around. First we encourage everyone to know about the problem, we put it in everyone’s mouth, and then “some charitable soul” dares to come and correct the affected brother, of which everyone has already spoken.

Correcting others carries with it a high level of self-demand; we should be able to correct earlier by example than by word. It also carries with it a huge degree of humility and empathy… perhaps the sin of others has once also been ours. or someday it will be.

Jesus reminds us that the power to tie and unleash, that is, to forgive, to restore communion with God and with our brothers and sisters, is a task, a mission entrusted to the whole community, to the Church. To the extent that we live it individually, being able to forgive, asking for forgiveness as many times as necessary, we make our ecclesial community live as a reconciled and reconciling community, conscious of reflecting the mercy of the Father, who brings out every day the sun on the righteous and sinners. I am pleased that we live it through the Sacrament of Reconciliation so many times as we need. God does not tire of forgiving us, we are the ones who tire of asking forgiveness, Him, and our brothers and sisters.

Likewise, a community in which we all feel co-responsible for each other, not just of tasks and functions, which lives forgiveness as the ultimate expression of fraternal love, will pray together, asking together for what is best. It will be a community not only physically gathered in the name of Jesus, but also united by his Spirit. The celebration of the Sunday Eucharist makes visible communion in Christ, who becomes present in his Word and in the sacrament of his Body and Blood, in the midst of all of us who profess our faith in Him, and who live his commandment to love us as brothers and sisters, as He loves us.

The text of St. Paul to the Romans sums it up masterfully. To live faith in Christ is to live in fraternal love. God wants us to love ourselves as brothers and sisters, to live in fact and with deeds fraternity. “Works are loves, not good reasons,” the saying goes. Whoever loves truth and heart, fulfills all the law, with all that God wants from us; for the fullness of the law is love. To love of truth and heart, to love others as God loves us, especially the less kind or loved, to look at others as God looks at us, to think of them as God thinks us, never harms us but quite the opposite; it does a lot of good, it does us a lot of good and a lot of need. In this sense, St. Augustine said, “Love and do what you want.” Perhaps we must recognize that we still have a long way to go to live love with such freedom of spirit. Let us ask the Lord together in faith, for He has told us that “if two of you agree on earth to ask for something, my Father who is in heaven will give it to you.”


Give us, Lord, the grace of fraternal love.

Sincere love of brothers and sisters, of children of the same Father, our good Father God.

Make us able to forgive always, even if the offense still hurts.

Help us to be humble in heart to correct from sincere love and affection.

Convince us to receive the correction without judging the one who corrects us, with gratitude even if they are wrong.

Give us, Lord, the grace of fraternal love.

That we do not hurt the other with the word, that we do not use sarcasm, unhealthy irony or contempt in conversation with the brothers. Let us know how to listen before we speak, that we speak sensibly and gently. May we be able to challenge our own criteria. Let’s let ourselves be lit up.

May our silences not be evasive or malicious, but receptive and prayerful.

Give us, Lord, the grace of fraternal love.

May our gesture always be cordial and friendly, may our smile be sincere and without hypocrisy, that the greeting is not lacking in our encounters and farewells.

Let’s know what the other one needs before he tells us.

That we can interpret the feeling of others to better empathize with them.

Let’s put aside what we’re doing when someone requires us to help them, even if it’s something un important.

Let us not show rejection or displeasure to the poor, sick or needy.

Give us, Lord, the grace of fraternal love.

May we be reconciled with you, Lord, and with our brothers and sisters, always be reconcilers and never generators of divisions or disputes.

Let us not be gossipy or breteros, slanderers or sowers of intrigue.

Help us live faith in community and Church, without individualisms or selfishness.

Show us to pray with the needs of others in mind before your own.

May our Eucharistic celebrations always be a sacrament of communion with you and with our brothers and sisters, in listening to your Word, in the communion of your Body and blood.

Give us, Lord, the grace of fraternal love.


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