Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time 6 September 2020

As we keep saying in Victoria, even on Father’s Day, it is different this year!

So, let us try to be a little creative…after all, Spring has sprung, even in central Victoria.

Historically, Mother’s and Father’s Day seem to have arisen from the whim of the commercial world. The same enterprising spirit is trying to overwhelm our traditional family day, Christmas, and some try to counteract the emphasis on Mother’s and Father’s Day by saying that every day ought to be Mother’s and Father’s Day. But if the days are to be split, can we cope with suggesting you read the word from Ezekiel, “I have appointed you sentry to the House of Israel” (be you Mother or Father).

Given that context, is it fair then to ask, “How do you warn them? or “How do you recognise wicked people?”

As sentry, can you easily, “…go and have it out with him alone”?

Or, if that fails, have you got “one or two others” that you can call upon to take the next step of reconciliation? The major sentry for Australia may be pondering this action after a rather disappointing National Cabinet meeting this week! Or, for that matter, the Pope might be looking for “one or two others” to help him build bridges within the Catholic tradition, let alone with other faiths!

Jesus seems to accept that there are times and situations which seemingly can’t be resolved. It seems harsh to hear Jesus suggesting “treat him like a pagan or a tax collector.” Obviously, Matthew’s community is having a few problems!

So where does that leave us?

We all need a sentry in our household and, perhaps, many in our community. We must try to be reconcilers and, perhaps, Paul’s word will give us encouragement, “Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour.”

Let us keep trying to build peace.

Mons Frank

P.S. A happy and blessed day to all who bear the title, Father.