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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading (Ezek 9:1-7; 10:18-22): The Lord cried loud for me to hear: Come, you scourges of the city! With that I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate which faces the north, each with a destroying weapon in his hand. In their midst was a man dressed in linen, with a writer’s case at his waist. They entered and stood beside the bronze altar.

Then he called to the man dressed in linen with the writer’s case at his waist, saying to him: Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and mark a “Thau” on the foreheads of those who moan and groan over all the abominations that are practiced within it. To the others I heard the Lord say: Pass through the city after him and strike! Do not look on them with pity nor show any mercy! Old men, youths and maidens, women and children–wipe them out! But do not touch any marked with the “Thau”; begin at my sanctuary. So they began with the men, the elders, who were in front of the temple.

Defile the temple, he said to them, and fill the courts with the slain; then go out and strike in the city. Then the glory of the Lord left the threshold of the temple and rested upon the cherubim. These lifted their wings, and I saw them rise from the earth, the wheels rising along with them. They stood at the entrance of the eastern gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was up above them. Then the cherubim lifted their wings, and the wheels went along with them, while up above them was the glory of the God of Israel.
Responsorial Psalm: 112
R/. The glory of the Lord is higher than the skies.
Praise, you servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord both now and forever.

From the rising to the setting of the sun is the name of the Lord to be praised. High above all nations is the Lord; above the heavens is his glory.

Who is like the Lord, our God, who is enthroned on high, and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?
Versicle before the Gospel (2Cor 5:19): Alleluia. God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mt 18:15-20): Jesus said to his disciples: "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell the Church. If he refuses to listen even to the Church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault… Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Fr. Pedro-José YNARAJA i Díaz (El Montanyà, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, in this brief evangelic fragment, the Lord teaches us three frequently ignored but important ways to proceed.

Understanding and advice for the friend or colleague. To warn him, in discreet intimacy (“you and him alone”), clearly (“tell him his fault”), of his erroneous attitude so that he can revitalize his way of life. Eventually, if the first advice did not result in anything positive, to get also a friend's collaboration. But if even in this way his conversion cannot be achieved and his sin causes great scandal, we must not doubt to exert the prophetic and public act of denouncing that, today, may just be a letter to a publication's director, or a demonstration or a banner. However, this way of acting is very demanding for whoever practicing it, and frequently, ungrateful and awkward. This is why so many find it much easier to choose what we wrongly call “Christian charity”, which is nothing but pure escapism, comfort, cowardice, false tolerance. In fact, “the same punishment awaits evildoers than the complacent who tolerate them” (St. Bernard).

Every Christian has the right to demand from us priests the forgiveness of God and his Church. At a given moment, a psychologist may appease your state of mind; a psychiatrist, through medical care, can defeat an endogenous disorder. Both can therefore be very useful though, at times, prove to be insufficient. For God only may forgive, remove, forget, smash while destroying, the personal sin. And only his Church can tie or untie demeanors, while transcending Heaven’s judgment. And, thanks to all this enjoy an internal peace and start to be happy.

In the priest's hands and words lie the privilege of taking the bread for Jesus-Eucharist to actually become immanence and food. Any disciple from the Kingdom may join another one, or better still, many more, and with fervor, Faith, courage and Hope, submerge into the world to transform it in the true body of Jesus-Mystic. And in his company go to God Father that will listen to our pleas, for his Son promised us so, “for where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Mt 18:20).

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “In that silence, He will listen to us; there He will speak to our soul, and there we will hear His voice.” (Saint Teresa of Calcutta)

  • “Faith is not simply an individual decision. By its very nature, faith is open to the ‘We’ of the Church; it always takes place within her communion.” (Francis)

  • “‘Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us,’ (Rom 8:34) is present in many ways to his Church: in his word, in his Church's prayer, ‘where two or three are gathered in my name,’ (Mt 18:20) in the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned, in the sacraments of which he is the author (...)” (Catechism Of The Catholic Church, Nº 1373)