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September 10, 2023 – 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Our Great Journey

This week our theme is “When 2 or 3 are Gathered” based on Matthew 18:15-20, Mateo 18:15-20

Opening Prayer:

Lord, Jesus Christ, you said to the Apostles, “Come, follow me.” You say the same words to us today and every day. Help up to follow you faithfully: to walk in the way of your commandments, to help those who are struggling, and to love people as you love them. May we rejoice in your presence with us as we work to build up the kingdom of God, where you live and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

In addition to our prayers from the heart, our prayer for September is the Hail Mary. It’s a good opportunity to explain what we are praying in this prayer. The first part of the prayer is Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary when Mary visited her while they were both pregnant. The Church added the second part of the prayer. Please pray this prayer daily to learn.

Using the Bible, invite a family member to read the Gospel aloud.

Things to talk about:

  • What is Jesus saying to us in this Gospel about forgiveness? What are Jesus’ step by step instructions for reconciliation? Why is it so hard to forgive sometimes?
  • Share a time when someone has sinned against you. How did you handle it?
  • Jesus says, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.” When have you felt the presence of Jesus in a group of two, three, or more?

Things to do:

  • What action do we do with our hand before the Gospel is read? What does it mean? (Answer in video)
  • Practice listening this week. Listen intently when someone tells you something, and then silently count to 5 before responding, giving yourself time to think about what you’ll say.
  • Teens: do some research on Pax Christi, www.paxchristiusa.org. Is there anything you can do to support this group?

Did you know…. that restorative justice is a system rooted in biblical tradition? It is an approach to seeking justice that tries to engage all of the people affected by a crime, violence or offense. It seeks to bring offenders to a point of rehabilitation and reconciliation with their victims and with the wider community.

Catholic Insights

This week’s Gospel focuses on listening with open hearts and minds. Jesus outlines ways for seeking reconciliation with each other. This process involves a spiritual component and Jesus says that he is present when we gather in his name.

As human beings and especially as members of Christ’s Church we are responsible for the welfare of one another and for the good of society. (CCC, 1914). The fourth through the tenth commandments outline our responsibilities as members of the Church to care for the common good. (CCC, 2197-2250, 2196, 2822).

How might you set aside negative feelings (of hurt or anger or sorrow) in the midst of conflicts and really try to listen with an open heart and mind? What could happen?

Song for this week: Alleluia! Give the Glory

For our kids, a short video about Matthew 18:15-20

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