23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

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

Theme: Love your neighbor as yourself

Our liturgy on this twenty-third Sunday in ordinary time of the year A, reminds us of our moral responsibility to love one another. This is seen in the three readings we have for this Sunday. In the first reading, God mandates the prophet Ezekiel to deliver his message to the Israelites the way he has given it. In the second 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. This is because, considering the challenges of insecurity in many parts of the world amidst wars and violence. 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 lives, and he invites us to do the same for one another. 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 first 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 must be the message of God and not our own message.

In the second 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 to a great extent. 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 anyone 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, in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.


23rd Sunday in ordinary time year A, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp