September 7, 2014 – Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Ez 33: 7-9; Ps 95: 1-2, 6-9; Rom 13: 8-10; Mt 18: 15-20
As we review and reflect upon the readings for any given Sunday, it is good to try to connect what is proclaimed with our lives and our understanding of stewardship. Sometimes it may be an entire passage, like the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Other times it may be just a phrase, or even a single word.
In today’s first reading from Ezekiel, God declares, “You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the House of Israel.” Ezekiel lived and prophesied some 600 years before the birth of Christ. If we listen carefully and attentively to Holy Scripture, we may notice that Jesus almost always refers to Himself as the Son of Man. Here is a reference to that phrase centuries before He came. The other key word in that sentence is the word “watchman.”
We may think of a watchman as a kind of security guard, but that is not exactly what the word meant in Ezekiel’s time. It was synonymous with “steward.” This is God declaring that Jesus, the Son of Man, is appointed the steward of Israel and all of us as well. The appointment is from God, not from a human. We are called in the same way, by God, to be good stewards.