HomeHomilySunday Homily - 10 September 2023

Sunday Homily – 10 September 2023

Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Also Read: Mass Readings for 10 September 2023 Mass Reading Reflection for 10 September 2023

Gospel: Matthew 18: 15-20

There is a very strong relation between the first reading and the gospel we just heard. Through the prophet Ezekiel, God reminds us that silence is not an option while dealing with society. You are not licensed to be silent. God wants you to raise your voice and speak on behalf of Him.

God said to the prophet, “If I tell the wicked, “O wicked one, you shall surely die, “and you do not speak out to dissuade the wicked from his way, the wicked shall die for his guilt, but I will hold you responsible for his death.”

But one may assume, ‘After all I am not a prophet, why should I worry?

Through baptism, all Christians are chosen to be prophets of God. The Church is a gathering of prophets. There is a prevailing misunderstanding that prophets are those who foretell events. Well, some prophets may reveal the future. But, a prophet by definition is one who speaks on behalf of God. It is God’s choice if He shall reveal the future through a particular person. The primary duty of God’s prophet is to deliver His messages to the world. A prophet is God’s spokesperson on earth. Deliver the message irrespective of the content. Some messages may be of consolation and encouragement; it may be easy to deliver such messages. Some of them may be hard, hurting, and sour; they may not be received well. The messenger may not be appreciated.

If you deliver God’s message on issues including abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage and the like you shall be ignored, insulted, and even attacked. If you take a stand on matters of morality and Christian values, and you raise your voices on such issues you are being a prophet in the twenty-first century. If Christians raise their voices and stand against attacks on life and morality some may rethink and take a ‘U’ turn to life and God. As God revealed through the prophet Ezekiel, you shall be saved irrespective of the result of your work.

How to do this job? Jesus gives the answer through today’s Gospel. He gave us four steps of doing our prophetic role.

  1. Go to the offender in private. Discuss the issue in private. If it fails take the next step;
  2. Take one or two with you as witnesses, so that together you may convince. If it fails too,
  3. Go to the community or Church. If you can’t win that person, then,
  4. Treat him like a gentile or a tax collector.

As Christians, we are called to refrain from gossiping and to be courageous to take on the offender in a gentle manner. It is not about winning a debate; it is about winning a person; it is about letting love and charity win. Love shall be the ultimate guideline in all our attempts. 

The first three steps of winning a person are self-explanatory; but the final step: treating one like a gentile or a tax collector should be understood based on the values taught and lived by Jesus.  Jesus never hated them. Jesus held them in high esteem. Remember Jesus waiting for the Samaritan woman by the well of Jacob. Remember the story were the tax collector who went up to the Temple to pray; he stood far behind with his head bending down with a monosyllable prayer. Jesus rated him far above the self-righteous pharisee.  How can we forget the story of the good Samaritan?

Jesus is clear here; we don’t have to hate someone for the differences. We don’t have to compromise to please anyone. Attempting to please everyone is not really Christian. Try pleasing God in everything.


Fr. Bobby Joseph CMI
Fr. Bobby Joseph CMIhttps://www.catholicgallery.org/
Hello, I am Fr. Bobby Joseph CMI, a Catholic priest belonging to the Indian Carmelite order, Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI), founded by three pious 19th-century priests: Fr. Thomas Palackal, Fr. Thomas Porukara, and St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara. Currently, I work as a missionary priest working in Peru. May God bless you all!

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