Your word is truth, O Lord: consecrate us in the truth.
2 Corinthians 5:19
God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself,
and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled.
Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Gospel Reading: Extracted from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 18:15-20
Jesus said, ‘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: the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain any 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 pagan or a tax collector.
‘I tell you solemnly, whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.
‘I tell you solemnly 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 shall be there with them.’
It was the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time on 7 September 2014.
The Readings that were read in the Eucharistic Celebrations all over the world on that day are shown in the previous page & above:
First Reading: Ezekiel 33:7-9,
Responsorial: Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9,
Second Reading: Romans 13:8-10 &
Gospel Reading: Matthew 18:15-20.
We have extracted the Homilies of Saint Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you, so that you could similarly be encouraged:
At the close of this century the panorama emerging before our eyes includes many shadows, such as the suffering and injustice oppressing individuals and peoples, the violence and the wars that unfortunately continue to bathe so many of the earth's regions in blood. However, there are some comforting rays of light which prompt us to look at the future with hope. Our optimism is based above all on the certainty of God's constant help, which is always given to those who humbly and trustfully implore it.
My thoughts turn in particular to Mother Teresa of Calcutta, whom God called to himself exactly two years ago today. The foundress of the Missionaries of Charity liked to say over and over: "When we help another person, we are rewarded with peace and joy, because we have given meaning to our life". She was a great and appreciated teacher of life, especially for young people, whom she reminded that their "great task is to build peace, starting with their families, and to defend life always and everywhere, especially when it is particularly weak". May her witness be an incentive and an encouragement for many young men and women to put themselves generously at the service of the Gospel.
- Saint Pope John Paul II
JOHN PAUL II
5 September 1999
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. The months go by and we are drawing closer and closer to the Great Jubilee which will begin the third millennium. At the close of this century the panorama emerging before our eyes includes many shadows, such as the suffering and injustice oppressing individuals and peoples, the violence and the wars that unfortunately continue to bathe so many of the earth's regions in blood. However, there are some comforting rays of light which prompt us to look at the future with hope. Our optimism is based above all on the certainty of God's constant help, which is always given to those who humbly and trustfully implore it.
In today's Gospel passage, Jesus says to his disciples: "If two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father" (Matthew 18:19 [NAB]). These words, received in faith, open the heart to confidence. God is a merciful father, who listens to the prayers of his adopted children.
When believers pray, they move God's heart, for whom nothing is impossible.
Unfortunately, we experience not a few earth-shaking and tragic events that sow dismay and anxiety in public opinion. Modern man seems sure of himself and yet, especially on critical occasions, he must come to terms with his powerlessness: he feels his incapacity to intervene and, consequently, lives in uncertainty and fear. The secret for facing not only emergencies, but, day after day, fatigue, personal and social problems lies in prayer made with faith. Whoever prays is not discouraged even in the face of the most serious difficulties because he feels God at his side and finds refuge, serenity and peace in his open arms. Then, in opening himself with confidence to God, he opens himself with greater generosity to his neighbour and becomes capable of building history according to the plan of God. - Saint Pope John Paul II
JOHN PAUL II
1. In today's Gospel passage, Jesus says to his disciples: "If two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father" (Matthew 18:19 [NAB]). These words, received in faith, open the heart to confidence. God is a merciful father, who listens to the prayers of his adopted children.
When believers pray, they move God's heart, for whom nothing is impossible. As I wrote in Novo Millennio ineunte, for this we need to be distinguished "in the art of prayer" (n. 32), so that Christian communities become "genuine schools of prayer" (n. 33).
Dear brothers and sisters, "may education in prayer become a key-point of all pastoral planning" (Novo Millennio ineunte, n. 34). It is very important to pray every day, personally and as a family. May prayer, and prayer together, be the daily breath of families, parishes and of every community.
John Paul II then greeted the pilgrims in French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and Italian. In English, he said:
3. I am pleased to greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present for this Angelus prayer. Upon you and your families, I cordially invoke the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
4. May Mary help us to understand the great value of prayer, the intimate union of the soul with God. Today we celebrate the mystery of her Nativity, to which the Christian people have always felt great devotion. Let us ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to open our hearts to greater confidence in the Lord who in her, the humble and docile handmaid, worked great wonders.
Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the Homilies of Saint Pope John Paul II, so that they could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Year of the Eucharist is now reaching its end. It will close this coming month of October with the celebration in the Vatican of the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops whose theme will be: "The Eucharist: source and summit of the life and mission of the Church".
It was our beloved Pope John Paul II who desired this special year dedicated to the Mystery of the Eucharist in order to reawaken in the Christian people faith, wonder and love for this great Sacrament, which constitutes the true treasure of the Church. How deep was the devotion with which he celebrated Holy Mass, the centre of every one of his days! And how much time he used to spend in silent, adoring prayer before the Tabernacle!
In his last months, illness brought him ever more closely to resemble the suffering Christ. It is a striking thought that at the moment of his death he must have found himself uniting the offering of his own life with that of Christ's in the Mass being celebrated at his bedside. His earthly existence ended during the Octave of Easter in the very heart of this Year of the Eucharist, in which the passage from his great Pontificate to my own occurred.
From the very beginning of this service which the Lord has asked of me, I therefore joyfully reaffirm the centrality of the Sacrament of the Real Presence of Christ in the Church's life and in every Christian's life.
With a view to the Synodal Assembly in October, the Bishops who will be its members are examining the working document that has been specially prepared for it. However, I ask the entire Ecclesial Community to feel involved in this phase of immediate preparation and to take part in it with prayer and reflection, making the most of every opportunity, event and meeting.
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28 September 2014