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Sunday, September 8, 2002

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23rd Sunday Ordinary Time


Ezekiel 33:7-9
Romans 13:8-10
Psalm 95
Matthew 18:15-20

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hating the sin, loving the sinner

"If I tell the wicked man that he shall surely die, and you do not speak out to dissuade the wicked man from his way, he [the wicked man] shall die for his guilt, but I will hold you responsible for his death." —Ezekiel 33:8

"You can depend on this as worthy of full acceptance: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Tm 1:15). Therefore, as followers of Jesus, we must be very concerned about sin. First, we must remove the plank of sin from our eyes so that we will see clearly to remove the specks of sin from the eyes of our brothers and sisters (Mt 7:5). Then we should correct and warn anyone who is sinning (Ez 33:8), "but keep it between the two of" us (Mt 18:15). If privately correcting a sinner is not well received (Mt 18:16), we should bring other Christians into this "ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor 5:18). Moreover, "anyone who sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, should petition God, and thus life will be given to the sinner" (1 Jn 5:16). "Remember this: the person who brings a sinner back from his way will save his soul from death and cancel a multitude of sins" (Jas 5:20). Finally, we must rejoice with the Lord, the saints, and the angels "over one repentant sinner" (Lk 15:7, 10).

Prayer:  Father, use me to lead many to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Promise:  "Owe no debt to anyone except the debt that binds us to love one another. He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law." —Rm 13:8

Praise:  Praise Jesus, crucified and risen Savior of sinners!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet The Secret of Confession or on audio AV 44-3 or video V-44.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 7, 2002


Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 12, 2002