St. Maximilian and Fraternal Correction and Charity, Wednesday of the 19th Week of Ordinary Time (I), August 14, 2013

Fr. Roger J. Landry
St. Bernadette Parish, Fall River, MA
Wednesday of the 19th Week of Ordinary Time, Year I
Memorial of St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe
August 14, 2013
Dt 34:1-12, Ps 66, Mt 18:15-20

To listen to an audio of today’s homily, please click here: 


In the homily the following points were made:

  • The great problem of the Jews entering the Promised Land after Moses died in today’s first reading was a cycle of silence, silence in passing on the faith to their children, silence in naming and correcting the abuses of the Canaanites around them.
  • In the Gospel, Jesus speaks to us about not remaining silent. One of the greatest means of charity is what is called “fraternal correction.” It begins with taking the planks out of our own eyes so that we can see clearly and out of charity rather than pride help others to take out the specks from their own eyes. We’re called to go one-on-one to try to help somebody correct his or her behavior. If that doesn’t work, then we can make an intervention with some others, and then with the whole Church, so that the person cannot deny the problem. If even that isn’t effective, then we can treat the person like a tax collector, someone for whom we pray for their total conversion but acknowledging that someone isn’t behaving as a member of the family.
  • St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe wasn’t silent. He founded a famous newspaper in order to spread the faith and when the Nazis came, he didn’t remain silent even though he well knew that the Nazis wouldn’t take his public corrections lightly. He was arrested and tortured and eventually sent to Auschwitz, where he gave his life for a married man. The martyrdom of his words led to the martyrdom of his life. The celebration of Mass each day was the school of self-giving, where he learned to give his life for others. His life-long purity was the preparation for his martyrdom, because in purity he was regularly saying no to self-gratification for the sake of God and pure love of others, and that’s what helped him more easily to see what God was asking at the end of his life.

The readings for today’s Mass were: 

Reading 1
DT 34:1-12

Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo,
the headland of Pisgah which faces Jericho,
and the LORD showed him all the land—
Gilead, and as far as Dan, all Naphtali,
the land of Ephraim and Manasseh,
all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea,
the Negeb, the circuit of the Jordan
with the lowlands at Jericho, city of palms,
and as far as Zoar.
The LORD then said to him,
“This is the land
which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
that I would give to their descendants.
I have let you feast your eyes upon it, but you shall not cross over.”
So there, in the land of Moab, Moses, the servant of the LORD,
died as the LORD had said; and he was buried in the ravine
opposite Beth-peor in the land of Moab,
but to this day no one knows the place of his burial.
Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died,
yet his eyes were undimmed and his vigor unabated.
For thirty days the children of Israel wept for Moses
in the plains of Moab, till they had completed
the period of grief and mourning for Moses.

Now Joshua, son of Nun, was filled with the spirit of wisdom,
since Moses had laid his hands upon him;
and so the children of Israel gave him their obedience,
thus carrying out the LORD’s command to Moses.

Since then no prophet has arisen in Israel like Moses,
whom the LORD knew face to face.
He had no equal in all the signs and wonders
the LORD sent him to perform in the land of Egypt
against Pharaoh and all his servants and against all his land,
and for the might and the terrifying power
that Moses exhibited in the sight of all Israel.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 66:1-3A, 5 AND 8, 16-17

R. (see 20a and 10b) Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth;
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God: “How tremendous are your deeds!”
R. Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
Bless our God, you peoples;
loudly sound his praise.
R. Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
When I appealed to him in words,
praise was on the tip of my tongue.
R. Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!

MT 18:15-20

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 won over your brother.
If he does not listen,
take one or two others along with you,
so that every fact may be established
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the Church.
If he refuses to listen even to the Church,
then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Amen, 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, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.”