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July 29, 2008

July 30th Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 6 Period I.

The Novena Rosary Mysteries  
for July 30th are Luminous.

 

 

July 29, 2008

 

China Retreat

August 10, 11, 12, 13

Exposed Eucharist

  

 

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23rd Sunday

FR. JOE'S HOMILIES (Rita's brother)

 

Ezekiel 33: 7-9

Son of man I have appointed you as watchman for the House of Israel. When you hear a word from my mouth, warn them from me. If I say to someone wicked, "Evil- doer, you are to die," and you do not speak to warn the wicked person to renounce such ways, the wicked person will die for this guilt, but I shall hold you responsible for the death. If, however, you do warn someone wicked to renounce such ways and repent, and that person does not repent, then the culprit will die for this guilt, but you yourself will have saved your life.

 

Romans 13: 8-10

    The only thing you should owe to anyone is love for one another, for to love the other person is to fulfil the law. All these: You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet, and all the other commandments that there are, are summed up in this single phrase: You must love your neighbour as yourself. Love can cause no harm to your neighbour, and so love is the fulfilment of the Law.

 

Matthew 18: 15-20

'If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, between your two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you: whatever the misdemeanour, the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain the charge. But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community; and if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a gentile or a tax collector.

'In truth I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

'In truth I tell you once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in my name, I am there among them.'

 

Homily by Fr. Joe

September 4, 2005 

INTRODUCTION - (Ezekiel 33, 7-9) (Romans 13, 8-10) (Matthew 18, 15-20) Our first reading takes us back six hundred years before Christ as God explains to his prophet Ezekiel his responsibility as a prophet. He must warn God’s people of their sinful ways or he will be held accountable. It is a prelude to the gospel where Jesus instructs his followers how to help each other stay on the right track. St. Paul’s teaching on love in our second reading reminds us that if we should try to correct one another it should be done out of love.


HOMILY - I happened to meet a lady this week carrying a little baby. I found out the baby’s name was Joseph. I thought: an appropriate name for a handsome little fellow! The encounter got me wondering what I was like when I was an infant and wouldn’t it be interesting to go back in time and experience what it was like to have to be fed and changed, to have to be carried around and cared for and to have to cry and scream when you needed something. When we came into this world, we were totally dependent on other people for our every need. As we grow to become more independent, we sometimes forget how in so many ways we will always remain dependent on others. Labor day is a good reminder that our existence is really a co-existence. How would we ever survive without farmers and electricians and car mechanics and trash collectors and bankers and doctors and the thousands of occupations and services we depend on in our complex society. The scenes from New Orleans and the gulf area we saw on TV this week remind us how dependent we are on others. While many people come to the aid of those suffering from the devastation, we are saddened to hear of people whose only value in life is their own self-interest and who readily take advantage of those who are vulnerable. Tragedies bring out the best and the worst in people. For Christians, St. Paul reminds us that love is the basic law. Love unites us and calls us to care for one another. His words also are good advice for those who let their credit cards get out of control: “owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another,” Paul tells us.

One area where we often forget that we always remain dependent on others is in our spiritual lives. So many these days decide they don’t need to go to church. They can pray on their own, they rationalize. I wonder how often they really do.

Our gospel today presupposes the need for a community of faith and that there be unity and harmony in the community. We can see that Jesus was giving guidelines to be followed in order to restore unity and harmony among the members of the community when there was serious disunity and sin. There is a three step process to follow: 1) Encourage the wrong doer and, tell that person they are doing wrong and not everyone else. Perhaps they can be brought back to the community. This was the job the prophet Ezekiel had to do for all the people of his day. It’s not an easy thing to do. I’ve been slammed down at times for trying to tell someone they’re not living like they should. 2) If that doesn’t work, Jesus gives us another procedure to try in order to build a bridge between a wrong doer and God’s people. He tells us gather two or three others to go with you to talk to the person. That is very similar to what we refer to today as intervention. I’ve done this with alcoholics who deny they have a problem. Family and loved ones come together and bombard them with their concern and their love and try to get the person to see they have a problem and they need to go into treatment. It can be very effective, but sometimes that doesn’t work either. 3) As a final step Jesus said get the entire community on your side.

At the end of his instruction about preserving unity and harmony in the community, Jesus teaches us about our need to pray with one another. Certainly we should pray on our own, but there is a unique power in praying with others. It’s like logs in a fireplace. One log has a hard time burning all by itself. But two or three together make a nice fire. Praying with others is something husbands and wives and children should do more of. It’s something we do every time we celebrate the Eucharist, the special prayer Jesus gave us at the Last Supper and which he told us to celebrate in his memory. The Church makes it a serious obligation to come to Mass each week lest we get lazy or too busy with too many things that we forget that he has asked us to gather in his name and in his memory.

In another place in his epistles St. Paul tells us “we are the body of Christ.” A body must be united for it to operate properly because all the parts depend on one another. We all depend on one another, not only for our material and emotional needs, but also for our spiritual needs. And that dependence doesn’t end at age 16 or 17 or 35 or 85. It continues on as long as we share in Christ’s life. For we are one body with him. I want to thank you all for coming today. Amen.

 

 

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