IF TODAY YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, HARDEN NOT YOUR HEARTS

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Today’s readings speak about conversion, through what is usually called “fraternal correction.” What this means is that we do share responsibility for one another.  Conversion means turning from evil to good.  It is ultimately a response to God’s grace—to his “voice.” We may sometimes be the conveyors of God’s “voice,” but only in a humble and not an arrogant way.  In other words, if one is going to correct another, one must first be in the right.  The right is known through the word of God as interpreted for us by the Church.  Jesus says in the Gospel that when personal persuasion fails, the matter is to be referred to the Church.  Secondly, the correction must be carried out in a loving way.  Saint Paul says in today’s Second Reading that “love is the fulfillment of the law.” It never does evil to one’s neighbor.  This, too, is a guard against arrogance.

In today’s First Reading God tells the Prophet Ezekiel that he has placed him as a “watchman” for his people.  It is his responsibility as God’s spokesman to point out the way of virtue to the wicked person.  Pope Saint Gregory the Great, whose feast day was September 3, reflected on the fact that, as bishop and pope, he had been placed in the role of watchman for God’s people. “Anyone appointed to be a watchman for the people must stand on a height for all his life to help them by his foresight.” Yet humbly aware of his own failings, he accepted the responsibility entrusted to him by God and relied upon God to make him effective: “Truly the all-powerful Creator and Redeemer of mankind can give me in spite of my weaknesses a higher life and effective speech; because I love him, I do not spare myself in speaking of him.”

Labor Day weekend is the symbolic end of summer.  Changing colors and cooler temperatures tell us fall is in the air.  Do not forget to come to Mass on Monday, Labor Day, to ask God’s blessing upon all our endeavors.  The Mass on Monday is at 8:30 AM at St. Charles with no evening Mass or Holy Hour that day.  Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.  It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.  First observed in 1882, it has been a national holiday since 1894.  Although the nature and fortunes of American labor have changed much during the intervening years—especially this year with temporary and permanent closures due to the pandemic—creativity and ingenuity continue to be its hallmarks.

Last weekend we welcomed Father Biju Kunjukutty, MSFS, for this year’s mission coop appeal.  A second collection is being taken up this weekend for this cause, and you may use the envelopes you received for this purpose last weekend, or there are extras in the church entryways.  Make checks payable to your parish.

Pray the Rosary this week for a successful academic year.  Pray for the victims of Hurricane Laura, and for all who are working on the relief effort as well as the cleanup and reconstruction.  Pray for the Missionary Society of Saint Francis de Sales.  Pray for the development of a covid-19 vaccine and, as always, pray for peace.

May God bless his people with peace.

Monsignor Gorman