Call to worship

Today’s Gospel proclaims that Jesus abides in the midst of the Church. As a community of believers, we are accountable to each other and we have responsibility for each other. In Christian charity, we are called to provide counsel and give direction, to listen and understand, to open our hearts, and to forgive. This is how we build the Body of Christ.This is how we experience the fullness of Church.

  • To the point: Jesus acknowledges inevitable conflicts among those living in the community of the church. Rifts in relationships between members of the church are actually rifts in the relationship with Jesus himself. Not facing whatever fractures the unity of the church belies our gathering in Jesus’ name. Healing fractures ensures that members of the church remain in relationship with Jesus and grow in love for one another. The impulse for resolving conflicts and preserving the unity of the church comes from Jesus himself. The response to Jesus must come from the members of the church and their work of reconciliation
  • Connecting the Gospel (Matthew 18:15-20) to the first reading: God confronts Ezekiel with the responsibility to remain faithful to his prophetic mission to confront the wicked. Jesus in the gospel calls the church to this same responsibility to confront the sinful.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: We know how easy it is to sin against another and how difficult to repair the relationship. Healing and reconciliation are possible when an honest exchange is brought about by the commitment of both to living the mercy, reconciliation and forgiveness Jesus taught.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Matthew 18:15-20)

“If two of you agree … about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.”

Pandemic, racial injustice, trafficking of humans
global warming, homelessness … Lord, what can we do?
“If two of you agree on Earth about anything you ask,
it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.”
Christ, Lord of love,let  us not think twice;
let us trust in your words.
Let us all come together and pray as one.

The First Reading

(Ezekiel 33:7-9)

“You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel.”

Lord, make us watchers. Help us to watch,
in love, over our brothers and sisters.
Let us help them lay their hands on what is justly theirs:
food, shelter, freedom, schooling, health care, and  human rights.

The Second Reading

(Romans 13:8-10)

“Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another.”

There is only one thing, one rule to live by,
one debt we owe. Love one another.
Lord, Jesus, be with us when it is easy,
and be with us when love is difficult.
Let us fulfill all the law with your love.

Copyright © 2023, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection