Readings: Ezekiel 33:7-9 Romans 13:8-10 Mathew 18:15-20

Theme: Love your neighbour as yourself

Our liturgy on this 23rd Sunday of the year A in ordinary time of the year, reminds us about our moral responsibility to love one another. This is seen in the three readings we have for this Sunday. In the 1st reading, God mandates the prophet Ezekiel to deliver his message to the Israelites the way he has given it. A message that is guided by Gods love for his people. In the 2nd reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, he emphasizes the fact that our lives should be guided by love and lastly in the gospel, Jesus gives us a guide to reconciliation.

The emphasis on love in our liturgy for this Sunday is timely. Taking into consideration the challenge of insecurity in many parts of the world amidst the Covid 19 pandemic. The question is, are we performing our moral obligation that invites us to love our neighbour as ourselves? This is the time for us to have a rethink and take this invitation more seriously. God looks out for us every second of our life, and he invites us to do the same for each other. This is a fact that is very clear from our readings for this Sunday. It is time for us to do same and make our world a better place.

The prophet Ezekiel in the 1st reading is enjoined by God to give the people his message for them, lest he will be held responsible for their sins. In the same way we are encouraged to be responsible for each other, lest we experience the wrought of God. However, we should give the people the message from God in fraternal love and not our personal message, by so doing manipulating the people for our personal gain. This will equally bring the anger of God upon us. It has to be the message of God and not our own message.

 In the 2nd reading, St. Paul emphasizes the need for us to love our neighbour as ourselves. If we take care of others the way we take care of ourselves, our world will become a better place. The problem of insecurity in the world will become a thing of the past, and there will be peace and unity. The question is, are we all willing to make it a reality? Your answer is as good as mine. The power of love cannot be overemphasized; that is why Jesus sums up all the commandments as love of God and neighbour. We need love in our lives, families and in the world.

Lastly, in the gospel Jesus emphasizes the importance of love, by giving us a guide that will lead to reconciliation. He loves us so much and does not desire to lose any of us after our earthly pilgrimage here on earth. It is a process that makes all the parties involved to initiate the reconciliation process. By so doing, reconciliation will be achieved, since the parties involved are willing to initiate it.

Dear friends in Christ, we all have a role to play towards making our world a better place. Ask yourself this question, what am I doing to make the world a better place? Begin by showing love to all those who encounter you and you will be surprised at the impact you will make in the lives of people.

May God grant us the grace to sow love wherever we find ourselves. Peace be with you. Amen.

Homily for the 23rd Sunday of the Year A, by Fr. Jude Ifezime, C.S.Sp