23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on September 6, 1987

Readings: Ezekial 33: 7-9; Romans 13: 8-10; Matthew 18: 15-20

Today we are reminded that we have the responsibility to change evil to good through our actions.  And in doing so, we are told in the second reading, that we must confront the evildoer in a loving manner.  Indeed, we are called to “love our neighbor as yourself.”  The implications of this is immediate and consequential for each and every one of us. We must wrestle with how we can be more effective witnesses within our own families, neighborhood, country, and the entire world.  We are called to stand up while knowing that we risk ourselves in some ways.

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Originally delivered on August 30, 1987

Readings: Jeremiah 20: 7-9; Romans 12:1-2; Matthew 16: 21-27

In today’s Gospel, Jesus rebukes Peter and tells him to “Get out of my sight, satan!” Like Peter, the Church, and all of us, will stray from God.  We must return to the will of God, knowing that Jesus will be with us through the turmoil.  Indeed, Jesus already knows that we will be human.  That is, weak and sometimes even cowardly.  And yet, Jesus is with us. We are told of Father Antoine Adrien and his courage in standing up for the poor of Haiti as well as the ways that the Church has failed to serve the people of Haiti.  Like Peter, we, the Church, are both courageous and incredibly weak at other times. In each of those times, Jesus is with us; sometimes encouraging us and sometimes scolding us, but always as a means of reminding us to follow His ways, regardless what that means for our journey.