Sep 6 2020 Reflection
Sunday 6 September 2020
First Reading: EZ 33:7-9
If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
PS 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
Second Reading: ROM 13:8-10
Gospel Reading: MT 18:15-20
Today’s Note: Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to his disciples:
“If your brother sins against you,
go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
If he does not listen,
take one or two others along with you,
so that ‘every fact may be established
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church.
If he refuses to listen even to the church,
then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Amen, I say to you,
whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again, amen, I say to you,
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.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.”
You . . . I have appointed watchman. (Ezekiel 33:7)
Just as God appointed Ezekiel as a watchman for “the house of Israel,” so has he appointed parents to watch over their own “house,” their family (Ezekiel 33:7). Like a prophet, their role is to hear from God, to encourage their children, to warn them about sin, and to help them live in a way that pleases the Lord. This call isn’t limited to parents either. God wants all of us to be looking out for each other.
Being a watchman can feel overwhelming. The very word watch means “to guard and protect.” In the case of parents especially, God has entrusted them with their children’s physical welfare and their eternal welfare. How can anyone ever live up to such expectations?
Through intercession. Parents know they cannot control every aspect of their children’s lives. There are limits to their influence, especially as their children mature and strike out on their own. But there is no limit to the power of prayer!
Interceding for your family is not a waste of time. You may have a very long list if you include your brothers and sisters and your grandchildren. Still, make it a point to pray for each of them by name, and be specific about the intention you are praying for. Then offer a prayer for everyone: “Lord, protect and guide my family. Bless them and protect them from evil. Fill them with your peace and your love.”
How powerful are the prayers of a watchman? Just ask Jesus. On the night before he died, he prayed for the strength to endure the cross. He prayed for the protection of his apostles. He prayed for all of us (John 17:1-26). Two thousand years later, his prayers are still being answered.
So imitate Jesus, the great Watchman of his Church. Commit your family to the care of your heavenly Father. God will never let you down.
“Lord, help me to watch over my family. I trust in your protection.”