ST. JUDE PARISH

17 MOUNT OLIVE ROAD, BUDD LAKE, NEW JERSEY

Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time: September 10, 2017

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The first reading, second reading and Gospel today are telling us that being a member of the Church means we belong to the single Body of Christ and form a community of brothers and sisters in Him. We are, therefore, the “keepers” of our brothers and sisters, for each one of us is important to all the others in our faith community. That’s why we have to be meaningfully present to, and take responsibility for, other people.

Many people in the Catholic Church today tend to think that they have no right to intervene in the private lives of their fellow believers; so they pay no heed to the serious obligation of encouraging an erring brother or sister to give up his or her sinful ways. In the Catholic Church we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. And we have the serious obligation to correct them in the name of Jesus. Let us admit the fact that a great part of the indifference to religion shown by so many is due to lack of parental control, training and example. If the children of Christian families grow up as practical pagans, it is mainly because the Christian faith has meant little or nothing to their parents.

Today’s Gospel reminds us of the good we can do together, and of how we can do it. Jesus says: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” If this group, celebrating Mass, works and acts with the Holy Spirit guiding us, we become much more than simply the sum of our numbers. Two becomes more than two, and three becomes more than three.

Brothers and sisters: In our faith community we act together so that we may help one another in God’s name, thereby multiplying our resources and ability to do what God calls us to do. We are so important to one another. It’s through one another that we grow and we get human maturity. When we stay together, when we celebrate together and correct one another, the presence of God is in our midst to heal us and strengthen us. The Eucharist is the sign that shows how to stay together and helps us to grow with one another. And we stay together with Him, Jesus, and with one another.