Pastor’s Homily — 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

This is the weekend that we think of our children going back to school here in town a few days ago.

Today our readings teach us that the church is also a type of school. A school of responsibility, a school of charity, a school of reconciliation. Let’s reflect on these three qualities.

Number one, the school of responsibility, by Ezequiel. Prophets are always responsible for the right relationship with God, others and the earth. And we remember that all of us are also prophets. When we were baptized, we were baptized to be priests, prophets, and kings. Therefore, we all have the capacity to speak out against injustice and to be attentive to the moral atmosphere in which we live. As pastor, I am a teacher but also a student in the school of responsibility.

Number two, the school of charity, according to Saint Paul to the Romans. So, too, the parish should be a place of encouragement, challenge, and outreach that gives some kind of concrete signal that we truly “love our neighbor as ourselves.”  For example, we live in this moment of the crisis of the care for the planet. We are in the month of the Season of Creation. And we must respond in charity to the protection of our environment, our common home.

Number three, the school of reconciliation, of the Gospel: there is power when two people are in harmony. Especially when they find reconciliation. In the world, we think we need lawyers or violence to resolve our differences, but God has given all of us the power to resolve our conflicts on the same level that we hurt each other. Where two or three are together in the name of Jesus, he is also with us.

If we can practice responsibility, reconciliation, and especially charity, then we are part of the solution, not part of the problem.

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