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Sunday, 10 September 2023

Gospel Reflection for the Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A.

Gospel Reflection

If today you hear his voice,

harden not your hearts.(Psalm 94)

Today's Gospel features Jesus' instruction on fraternal correction, something we shrink from in our usual everyday life. But there it is; sometimes it has to be done, although only in a spirit of kindness and control. Perhaps we avoid it because we hesitate to judge harshly, or we lack the courage, or perhaps because we are more conscious of our own failings . Be that as it may, and we cannot escape it, fraternal correction is a gospel value.

I find myself more drawn to the closing promise of the gospel, 'For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them., While 'in my name' includes gathering to pray, it has a much wider meaning than that. 'In my name' means in my cause, in my good work of healing, teaching, building up community, or sharing table-fellowship. I imagine town councilors meeting to improve living conditions for their citizens, building sanitation networks, organising health teams for vaccinations, or ambulances for disaster relief. Whether conscious of it or not, these people meet 'in my name'. 

But to his faithful followers, Jesus made a solemn promise, and he is Truth itself. 'If two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven.'