23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time year A, 06/09/2020

Last Sunday, we noticed that the teacher and the disciple had the opposite ways of thinking. This Sunday, the challenge thrown to us is to become a united Christian faith community through listening. The theme of listening runs throughout the readings this Sunday: listening to the divine voice, to the voice of Ezekiel the Prophet, to our community members, and the church.

Some of the elements that make the church a community of disciples is love, listening, forgiveness, servanthood, and the communion of grace. Moreover, the idea of a community of disciples has more biblical support such as Jesus’ words in today’s gospel that, “where two or three are gathered in my name, I am present.” Also, a theologian Avery Dulles in his models of explaining the character of the church community regards the church as a disciple that listens, serves one another, and develops the community of loving disciples. Within this community, there can be tensions, disputes, and disagreements. The gospel today offers us a process of dealing with these issues when they happen in our faith community while trying to preserve love. More to that, every Christian community that listens to his leaders, and to one another discovers God’s love and gifts. That community does not live separately from God; he is actively present in the decisions and desires of his people and our prayer and action must reflect this.

The Psalmist invites us to be listening people and receptive of God’s love and gifts. Ezekiel out of love has to give the Lord’s warning and people must listen to avoid the consequences of punishment. Paul emphasizes to the Romans that the precious freedom bought for us by Christ also brings with it a responsibility and a debt: to love and care for each other and to live out the consequences of our faith. These words go to the heart of the Gospel message. Jesus has shown us how to love our neighbour by everything he said and did. He also shows us how to be fully alive as a human being.

The idea of Jesus being present in our liturgies and speaking to us in his word when it’s read to us encourages us to be listeners of his word that gives us a sense of individual and communal direction in this life, while fostering a love for God and one another, resulting to the transformed Christian disciples and faith communities.

Christian Action this week: Like Prophet Ezekiel, this week, be alert for the quiet voice of the Divine, and be generous in responding to it. Also be aware of your responsibilities as a church community, leaders, and especially at this time of the COVID 19 pandemic, and the events surrounding it.

Joy and Peace.