A Note on Today’s Readings Proper 18: Sunday closest to September 7—Year A
Welcome to St. Gabriel’s Parish on this Homecoming Sunday.
We now reach a section of Matthew’s Gospel in which Jesus teaches about
God’s way of dealing with humanity: namely, forgiveness. Today’s reading is
primarily concerned with the Church’s role as the agent of forgiveness. Even
when a member of the Church is unrepentant, the Church is not to give up on
that person easily. We are to make every effort to move the sinner to repent
and accept the forgiveness of God, which Jesus has commissioned the Church
The story of Moses and the Exodus continues today. God and the Egyptian
king have been in a struggle. Now comes the final test. We hear the
instructions to the Israelites about the meal that will protect them from Egypt’s
final plague and prepare them to set forth on their journey to freedom. This
became the Passover meal of the Jews, the precursor of the Eucharistic meal.
Today’s passage from the Epistle to the Romans continues to deal with the
characteristics of Christian living. We are to live in good relationships with all
people, to respect the laws and authorities of human society, and above all to
express love by mutual behavior based on God’s law.
We gather as the People of God, having found in our relationship with God
that he is our lover and our savior, not an angry or condemning judge. We find
in our lives together as Church that we are not only the recipients of God’s
love and forgiveness but also sent into the world as the instruments of that love
and forgiveness to all people.
A Blessed Homecoming.
Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost~