Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

All three of this weekend’s readings have to do with three simple things:

  1. Love of God
  2. Love of Neighbor
  3. Love of Self

Are all three of these happening in your lives? For many of us, it is easier for us to love God than our neighbor, or to love our neighbor more than ourselves.

However, the Golden Rule has been given to us a challenge: Love God with your entire being and love your neighbor as you do yourself! For the true disciple of Christ, this can take a life-long endeavor!

I’d like to share a little joke written by Amy Bertman:

While attending a convention, three psychiatrists take a walk. 

People are always coming to us with their guilt and fears.

One says,

but we have no one to go to with our own problems.

Another suggests

Since we are all professionals, why don’t we hear each other right now?

They agree this is a good idea. The first psychiatrist confesses;

I’m a compulsive shopper and deeply in debt, so I overbill patients as often as I can.

The second admits,

I have a drug problem that’s out of control and I frequently pressure my patients into buying illegal drugs for me.

The third psychiatrist says,

I know it is wrong, but no matter how hard I try, I just can’t keep a secret.

Obviously, this is not living out the Golden Rule!

In our first reading, God tells Ezekiel to continue warning the people of Jerusalem about their sins lest their blood be on his hands. We too are called to be a “Prophet,” not by standing on street corners with a sign and yelling at people, but rather by taking advantage of every situation life gives us and handle them as a disciple of Jesus.

In our second reading Paul tells the Romans, “Love is the fulfillment of the law.” All of us must see that there is deeper meaning within the laws and the rules that we keep, and if we keep in mind the Golden Rule, we will be sure to see that.

The Gospel of Matthew encourages us to seek reconciliation with anyone who sins against us. Think about it in these three ways:

  1. As children of God and believers in Jesus Christ, our actions must mirror what Jesus taught us.
  2. The power of the community is emphasized by Jesus: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
  3. Forgiveness, even though difficult, must be sincere.

As we know of the Trinity as being one God, and three persons, so too must we think about the Golden Rule as being intimately connected as one rule, but contingent upon God, self, and neighbor.

Readings for Sunday, September 6, 2020