Hardened Hearts and Forgiveness

Readings for Sunday, September 7 — 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Ezekiel 33:7-9; Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9; Romans 13:8-10; Matthew 18: 15-20

Suggested Reflection Questions:

  • Today’s reading from Ezekiel, as well as the Psalm, has themes of a hardened heart. Perhaps you have had times in your life when your heart has been hardened to the concern of others or to the voice of God, either in prayer or through others. Maybe you have been the one expressing concern for a friend or family member. How did you, or can you, invite God into these circumstances?
  • The second reading reminds us of the timeless imperative that we must strive to love our neighbor as ourselves. Reflect quietly for a moment on how well you are following this teaching or where you can improve. What is one goal you have to better help you live out Jesus’ words?
  • The Gospel today can be a very challenging reading. Think of a time in your life when you told someone they wronged you. What was that experience like for you? Or, think of a time when something wrong was happening and you felt compelled to say something. In each, or one, of these experiences, where was God operating? Where was compassion, mercy, or forgiveness?