Vol: 41, No.49 23RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME ( A) September 07 2014  

Jesus a first century conflict resolution consultant. Jesus knew that conflict exists. His very coming into this world had caused conflicts in the Jewish society of his time, and in his public life he was often right in the middle of conflict. He also knew that conflict does not just magically disappear. He gives very specific advice on what we are to do. He isn’t just telling us how to resolve conflict – he is really telling us how to live in community together. But he knows that whenever human beings come together, there will be disagreements. Our challenge is to work out those disagreements and to do so while still loving and remaining in relationship with one another.
Many years ago, there was a woman who lived in a small village in France. Trained as a nurse, she devoted her life to caring for the sick and the needy. After many years of kind and selfless service to the village’s families, the woman died. She had no family of her own, so the townsfolk planned a beautiful funeral for her, a fitting tribute to the woman to whom so many owed their lives. The parish priest, however, pointed out that, because she was a Protestant, she could not be buried in the town’s Catholic cemetery. The villagers protested, but the priest didn’t relent. It was not easy for the priest either, because he too had been cared for by the woman during a serious illness. But the rules of the Church were very clear; she would have to be buried outside the fence of the cemetery. The day of the funeral arrived, and the whole village

accompanied the woman’s casket to the cemetery, where she was buried – outside the fence. But that night, a group of villagers, armed with shovels, sneaked into the cemetery. They then quietly set to work – they moved the fence.
In today’s Gospel Jesus advises us that in conflict situations the primary aim of a believer and community is never to exclude and expel the wrong-doer, but by ‘moving the fence’ invite and restore the person in the community. We are a community of people whom God has called into being.  We are not just friends; we are now a family, brothers and sisters of the same Father. We are meant to be demonstrating by our life together what God is able to accomplish. Both the Gospel and the verses from Paul’s letter to the Romans offer guidance about how we can get along together, as a community of God’s people. We are given guidelines how to work out conflicts and disagreements.
We know that Jesus had sat and talked and ate with both Gentiles and tax collectors. He did not exclude them, he did not reject them. He tried to respect the dignity of every human being – even when he did not agree with them. As Christians our primary call is to love. Jesus shows us a more difficult path to travel. Not so wide, not so easy, but it is the path that leads us to the essence of all Love... where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them. We never walk the path of love by ourselves.
– Fr Simon Kaipuram, C.M.
September 2014 READINGS OF THE WEEK Psalter Week 3
09 Mon (W) Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Feast
Mic 5:1-4a or Rom 8:28-30/Ps 13:6ab.6c/Mt 1:1-16.18-23
10 Tue (W) St Peter Claver, 1 Cor 6:1-11/Ps 149:1b-2.3-4.5-6a and 9b/Lk 6:12-19
11 Wed (G) 1 Cor 7:25-31/Ps 45:11-12.14-15.16-17/Lk 6:20-26
12 Thu


1 Cor 8:1b-7.11-13/Ps 139:1b-3.13-14ab.23-24/Lk 6:27-38
13 Fri (W) Holy Name of Mary, 1 Cor 9:16-19.22b-27/Ps 84:3.4.5-6.12/Lk 6:39-42
14 Sat (W) St John Chrysostom, 1 Cor 10:14-22/Ps 116:12-13.17-18/Lk 6:43-49
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