Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.
The Word This Week
No man is an island... How true this is for those who follow Christ: each of us has responsibilities towards each other, based on our debt of mutual love. When we see wickedness and wrongdoing, then because of our privileged position of following the Lord Jesus, we have a duty to speak out. This will not always be easy - remember the prophet Jeremiah last week - but this was the mission of the Lord Jesus himself, and as his followers, it is our mission too. As with everything, love is the answer to every one of the commandments.
Notes for Readers
Today another great prophet outlines for us the prophets mission: to speak the words of the Lord, whether heeded or not. This is the burden and reward of prophecy. The reading is very clear, and should not be difficult to proclaim. The first line of Gods message to Ezekiel is easy to pass over, but is quite significant: I have appointed you as sentry to the House of Israel. Think about a sentrys tasks: to warn of the approach of danger or threat to the city. Ezekiels word from God says that a prophet is to act as a guard over the lives of Gods people. The reader is given two contrasting ideas - the prophet failing in his task, and the prophet fulfilling his task; in your reading, allow the two ideas to be clearly contrasted, pausing between them.
It is wonderful how in the complex prose of