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23rd Sunday of Year A

September 10, 2023

September 10, 2023

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Fr. Charles E. Irvin

23rd Sunday of Year A

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Dominican Blackfriars

23rd Sunday of Year A

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Bishop Robert Barron

23rd Sunday of Year A

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Fr. Tony Kadavil

23rd Sunday of Year A

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We might call this Sunday “Power Sunday” because the main theme of all three readings is that God is the Source of all authority. God shares His authority with civil rulers elected to serve the people and with the Pope and the other Church leaders for the material and spiritual welfare of His children. Today’s Gospel challenges us to accept the authority of Jesus as our Lord and Savior as St. Peter did at Caesarea Philippi.

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Fr. George Corrigan, OFM

23rd Sunday of Year A

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Fr. Austin Fleming

23rd Sunday of Year A

CONCORD
PASTOR

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Fr. George Smiga

23rd Sunday of Year A

BUILDING
ON THE WORD

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The Fruits of Vulnerability

The message that God gives to Ezekiel in today’s first reading could not be more blunt.  God appoints Ezekiel to listen for the word of God and then speak it to Israel.  God says that if Ezekiel speaks the word, he will live, and if he does not speak the word, he will die.  The simple crudeness of this message emphasizes the importance of hearing the word of God and proclaiming it to others.  We could not live or grow as a Christian community if we lost the ability to hear what God is saying to us in the events of our time and discern what response God is calling us to make.  The more significant those events are, the more it is important for us to ask, what God is saying to us within them.

This truth has special relevance this week as our nation recalls the tragic events that happened a year ago on September 11th.  Over the next few days there will be memorials, concerts, analyses and television specials that mark this anniversary.  But what you and I are called to do is the same thing that Ezekiel was called to do, and that is to ask ourselves, “What is God saying to us in these tragic events that happened now almost a year ago?”  To discover that, I think there are two questions we must address:, “How has our life changed since September 11th?” and “What is God telling us in that change?”

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Msgr. Joseph Pellegrino

23rd Sunday of Year A

DIOCESE OF
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA

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The Church, the Vehicle of Mercy

In this book Cardinal Dulles presented models or modes of understanding the Church. He explains that the Church cannot be defined by any one model, but by all models seen together. He presents five models, but notes that there are many other models he could also have explained. The five models he presents begin with the Church as an Institution. This considers the importance of Church structure, the heirarchy, bishops, priests and deacons, and the Church’s magisterium or teaching authority. The Church seen as institution is responsible for the unity of what Catholics believe and how they live throughout the world. From the Vatican to the Dioceses to the parishes, the Church has a hierarchical structure. Sadly , some of the people making up this structure failed us all as the clergy sex abuse scandal revealed.

Focusing on only the aspect of the Church as institution would end up ignoring the Church as the People of God, Dulles second model. Here we understand the vital role of the laity. At St. Ignatius, as in most Catholic parishes, Faith Formation, Youth Ministry, Evangelization, our Food Pantry, our Pregnancy Center, our Caritas outreach to the homebound and hospitalized, our Early Childhood Center, Guardian Angels School, and just about every ministry is led by lay people.

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Fr. Michael Chua

23rd Sunday of Year A

ARCHDIOCESE OF KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

HOMILIES

Today’s gospel concludes with two promises from the Lord: the first, “if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven,” and the second, “for where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them.” Both promises are magnificent, but the truth of the matter, as far as our own personal experiences serve as a measure, is that, it does not always work out this way!  Here is my own spin on the saying, “Where two or three are gathered, there are bound to be fights!”  In fact, G.K. Chesterton wrote, in his 1929 book The Thing, that “Catholics know the two or three transcendental truths on which they agree; and take rather a pleasure in disagreeing on everything else.”

One may be scandalised to note that conflict takes place within the Church too. Aren’t Christians supposed to be peace-makers?  Perhaps, but the truth is that conflict crosses all boundaries of religions, traditions, cultures and time. Even in the early Church, even in her earliest days there was conflict. The trouble is that most of us have difficulty dealing with conflict. Yes, there are a few among us that like to stir things up and then, either watch from the sidelines as others battle it out or else, jump right into the drama.  However, most of us find conflict uncomfortable. That is why so many choose to turn away or try to ignore the situation, metaphorically closing our eyes, and thinking that if we pretend we don’t see the conflict then it won’t be there. Likewise, many would tend to pit discipline against love, often believing that it is unloving to correct an erring brother. No one wants to be a busy-body and we feel it is best to mind our own business and not meddle in other people’s affairs. In doing so, we hope to avoid conflict. 

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Fr. Tom Lynch

23rd Sunday of Year A

PRIESTS FOR LIFE
CANADA

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Fr. Jude Langeh, CMF

23rd Sunday of Year A

YAOUNDE,
CAMEROON

YOUTUBE

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Brotherly Correction

In today’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us of our responsibility to one another in mutual correction. This is not an option but a duty that arises from Christian responsibility. This entails we owe our neighbour fraternal or brotherly correction. Love demands that we do everything we can to correct a brother or sister who is doing wrong to us. It follows three s stages:

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Fr. Phil Bloom

23rd Sunday of Year A

ST. MARY OF THE VALLEY
ARCHDIOCESE OF
SEATTLE

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Are Humans Naturally Good and Loving?

Message: Recognize you owe all to God – most important, the gift of love. 

St. Paul tells us, “Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” If you are like me, when you hear that verse, you think: Heck, I’ve got it made: I’m a loving person; I don’t hate anyone; I wish well to everyone. Sure, I’ve got my faults, but I am basically a good person.

On one level, your probably are. You and I have the image of God imprinted us – and we each have a value greater than everything else on this planet combined. When this world turns to dust your existence and mine will have barely begun. We have an incalculable dignity – but it’s not unalloyed. We are like Mt. Rainier: Majestic, but a volcano inside that can erupt any moment.

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23rd Sunday of Year A

BIBLE STUDY,
PRAYER AND HOMILY
RESOURCES

DIOCESE OF
CLOYNE, IRELAND

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Brotherly Correction and Love of Neighbor

I heard of an alcoholic who refused to admit that he had a problem. When those closest to him spoke to him individually of their concern for him, he told them he did not have a problem and that he was fine. He was in denial. But those closest to him, being concerned for his welfare, knew they had to do something. They realized they would have to somehow make him understand the reality of his illness and addiction. They decided they would have to confront him together instead of talking to him individually. So they arranged a surprise meeting with him and together they all confronted him with the situation of his life. It worked; he admitted his problem and agreed to get help and joined AA. 

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Fr. Michael Fallon, MSC

23rd Sunday of Year A

ST. MARY’S TOWERS
RETREAT CENTER

DOUGLAS PARK, NSW
AUSTRALIA

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The need to correct one another

Today’s Gospel is about the need to correct one another. We find the same teaching in the First Reading from Ezekiel. The Second Reading from Paul alerts us to the truth that all we do, including correcting of others, is to be done in love. If we do not love another person, we certainly do not know them. They are aware of this and they cannot trust our judgment concerning their behaviour. Any correction we offer will not work. We had better leave it to someone who loves and so knows them. It obviously matters how we behave. If we hurt others we are certainly hurting ourselves. One would hope that there was someone in our lives who cared enough about us to point out the error of our ways. If we don’t care that someone is behaving badly, we must not love that person very much. Jesus is also telling us how we should go about this correction when it concerns people who are part of the Christian community with us.

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Fr. John Kavanaugh, S.J.

23rd Sunday of Year A

JESUIT HOMILIST,
SCHOLAR AND AUTHOR (1941-2012)

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Challenge in Community

As if particularly sensitive to the demands of Christian community life, the readings from the Lectionary’s Cycle A this month provide contrasting sets of virtues and vices, ones that foster and destroy relationships. Willingness to communicate and forgive enhances a common life of faith. Jealousy and envy, as we will see in subsequent weeks, rip communities apart.

Community life, whether in a family, intentional grouping, religious congregation, or the church itself, is the great testing ground of faith. St. Teresa of Avila thought that relationships in community were often a greater indication of one’s relationship to God than the heights of mystical prayer.

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Bishop Frank Schuster

23rd Sunday of Year A

AUXILIARY BISHOP
ARCHDIOCESE OF
SEATTLE

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The Principle of Subsidiarity and the Art of Correcting Others

Since the school year is about to start, I thought I would share a fun story. It was the biggest test of the school year and two classmates did extremely well, only missing one question on the test. However, the first student got an A but the second student received an F. Well, the second student obviously took issue with the teacher and met with her after class. He objected that both he and the other student only missed one question, why should the other student get an A and he receive an F? The teacher nodded patiently while she received that feedback and then responded that it wasn’t just getting a single question wrong on the test that gave him an F but what he put down as the answer. The student replies, “Well, what was that?” The teacher replied, “The other guy simply wrote ‘I don’t know’ as his answer, but your answer was ‘neither do I’.” Come on. That’s funny.

Fraternal correction, pointing out another person’s faults to their face, this is never an easy thing to do. We avoid it, we dread having to do it, and we really hate to be on the receiving side of it. However, if we really love the person whom we need to correct, there are times when we simply have to do it. And if we know the person who is correcting us loves us as well, or at least has our best interest in mind, we would do well to listen and consider what it is being shoveled our way, even when it is hard for us to do. As Ezekiel challenges us in the first reading, “warn the wicked, trying to turn him from his way”. We have an obligation to help correct each other along life’s journey. It is the only way we can grow.

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Fr. Michael Cummins

23rd Sunday of Year A

THE ALTERNATE
PATH

VICAR OF PRIESTS,
DIOCESE OF
KNOXVILLE, TN

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God’s Strange Economics

[Bishop] Robert Barron begins a session in one of his video series by stating, “You are not necessary!  Neither you nor I are necessary!”  I have often thought that this would make for an ironic hallmark card.  On the front cover – “You are not necessary!” – and inside – “Have a nice day!”  But Fr. Barron is not being flippant in this; rather he is stating an important spiritual truth.  None of us, none of creation, everything that we see and discover around us – none of it is necessary.  All of it continually flows from God.  God alone is the one necessary; everything else from the largest galaxy to most finite speck of dust is dependent upon God and therefore not necessary. 

Whoa … this is heavy and it can quickly weigh heavy on one’s mind and life.  If all is dependent upon God then what happens if I really, really make him mad?  Does he need to be appeased?  Do I need to do absolutely correct every little thing that I think God wants done?  God seems then to be opposed to my thriving.  God, who alone is necessary, almost seems to be in competition with my freedom. 

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