23rd Sunday Ordinary Time – A Horse of a Different Color
This first reading from Sunday puts us in a bit of a fix. It seems to appoint Jews & Christians as ‘hall monitors’ whose primary job is to go around correcting people “lest we die!” Yikes! That’s one heavy burden.
Thus says the LORD: You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel; when you hear me say anything, you shall warn them for me. If I tell the wicked, “O wicked one, you shall surely die, “and you do not speak out to dissuade the wicked from his way, the wicked shall die for his guilt, but I will hold you responsible for his death. (Ezekiel 33:7-9)
Not only a burden, but taking this stance leaves me in the enviable position of being right and righteous and victorious… yet
Here’s the conundrum: What happens when you and I are on the receiving end of another accusing us (the nerve!) of wicked ways? That’s a horse of a different color.
I can only imagine how many homilies/sermons spoke about the necessity of righting the wrongs in others. It’s obvious who the sinners are that need correction, right? Them! God forbid it’s you and me.
Seems to me the gospel implies a question that could easily launch itself once we consider the fact that you and I need correction. And who likes criticism??? Not I, Lord!
Question: What would help you receive correction from another? What characteristics would you hope for in the person, the delivery, and the message to help you hear, take in, and deal with the correction?