“Put a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in Jerusalem. ”
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 9: 1-7; 10:18-22)
The Lord cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, “Draw near, you executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand.” And behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, every man with his weapon for slaughter in his hand, and with them was a man clothed in linen, with a writing case at his side. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar. Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherubim on which it rested to the threshold of the house; and he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his side. And the Lord said to him, “Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.” And to the others he said in my hearing, “Pass through the city after him, and kill; your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity; slay old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one upon whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the house. Then he said to them, “Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain. Go forth.” So they went forth, and killed in the city. Then the glory of the Lord went forth from
the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim. And the cherubim lifted up their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight as they went forth, with the wheels beside them; and they stood at the door of the east gate of the house of the Lord; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them. These were the living creatures that I saw underneath the God of Israel by the river Chebar; and I knew that they were cherubim. Each had four faces, and each four wings, and underneath their wings the semblance of human hands. And as for the likeness of their faces, they were the very faces whose appearance I had seen by the river Chebar. They went every one straight forward.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 113: lb-2.3-4.5-6 (R. 4b)
R/. The glory of the Lord is above the heavens.
Praise, O servants of the Lord,
praise the name of the Lord!
May the name of the Lord be blest
both now and forevermore! R.
From the rising of the sun to its setting,
praised be the name of the Lord!
High above all nations is the Lord,
above the heavens his glory. R.
Who is like the Lord;
our God, who dwells on high,
who lowers himself to look down
upon heaven and earth? R.
ALLELUIA 2 Corinthians5:19
Alleluia. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Alleluia.
“If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew18:15-20)
At that 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 gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the Church; and if he refuses to listen even to the Church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, 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 I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
It is interesting to note how far God intends to go with his project of winning over the sinner. If a parent walks a thousand steps to recover a lost child, God would do so seven thousand times seven. God hands this project over to the church with a detailed step-by-step process that targets the achievement of the desired goal. In the end, the one who gets lost is considered irrecoverable, but for God, no one is irrecoverable. The entire mission of Jesus was to save what is lost. Everyone is invited to join the train of ministers of reconciliation. And, indeed, this is what we have become by virtue of our belonging to Christ.