1st Reading – Ezekiel 33:7-9
There is no Old Testament writer who has received more varied, even diametrically opposed, interpretations of his person and his writings than Ezekiel. He has been psychoanalyzed and found to be a victim of catatonic schizophrenia, unconscious sexual regression, schizophrenic withdrawal, and having delusions of persecution and grandeur. He has been called “one of the greatest spiritual figures of all time, in spite of his tendency to abnormality.” In fact, no Hebrew prophet would be considered “normal” as they spoke God’s words against the actions of the people. Ezekiel has been described as a mystic – all prophets are mystics.
In Ezekiel we find blended the priest and the prophet, the poet and the theologian,and an organizer of religion as an institution and a preacher of religion of morality and even mysticism, with the sense of a deep consciousness of the presence and transcendence of God.
Ezekiel is thought to have been deported to Babylon in 597 B.C., where he received his call and worked all his life among the exiles. In our reading today we hear Ezekiel tell of his role as watchman for the Israelites, the one who is to initiate correction.
2nd Reading – Romans 13:8-10
Today we hear Saint Paul tell us that the Christian is a fulfilled Israelite and as such still has the obligation of love that sums up the entire Mosaic law.
Gospel – Matthew 18:15-20
Today we hear Jesus’ teaching on fraternal correction. This is one of the ways in which the members of the Church must seek out the sheep that has wandered. This is loving correction.