Jesus’ call to love our neighbors sounds easy until we realize he is referring not only to those who live next door or nearby but also people everywhere. Suddenly the scale of the challenge and the enormity of our responsibility overwhelm us. The list is endless, for there is virtually no limit to human need within our world. We have grabbed greedily at the earth’s resources with no thought for the future.
Paul insists that the secret to life is knowing how to respond with God’s love, grace, and spirit. Paul appeals to Christ’s love for us as the incentive for us to love others. This is the source of our inspiration in our duties toward one another.
Light shines in the darkness. Daylight comes, and Paul urges his listeners to stop doing things that belong to the dark. Living out the Christian life makes a difference, and the time to do it is the present: “It is now the moment for you to wake from sleep.” Jesus becomes the essence of life. He teaches us to look properly at the ordinary things of life—something as natural as a flower in the field—and we will see God’s hand behind it.
Life takes on a new direction when we choose to walk in the light. If we really believe that God holds the world in trust for us, we need to live in such a way that we lead through our actions: We “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.”

O God, in love we take up our responsibility for our neighbors. May we value all parts of your handiwork. Amen.

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Leer Matthew 18:15-20

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Leccionario Semanal
September 4–10, 2017
Resumen de la Escritura

Exodus 12 provides instructions for keeping the Passover. Yahweh defends those who seek Yahweh’s shelter. In the end, the people stand liberated from all false loyalties and allegiances, and vow allegiance to Yahweh alone. Psalm 149 sounds a strong note of realism. The rule of Yahweh binds Israel to an understanding that the social order must re ect the moral integrity of the world’s ultimate King. The reading from Romans 13 marks a point of transition within Paul’s letter. Paul here urges his readers to trust that faith in Christ makes a difference. Matthew 18 speaks to the importance of trustworthiness in the life of the believing community and provides measures for the restoration of confidence and for reconciliation.

Preguntas para la reflexión

• Read Exodus 12:1-14. In the Passover meal, no one is excluded from the table. Where in your life can you be more inclusive?
• Read Psalm 149. If you wrote a new song to celebrate and recall a “mighty act of God” in your life, what would the song be about?
• Read Romans 13:8-14. Reading these verses of Paul’s letter to the Roman church, how would you de ne your neighbors? Are there neighbors, whether close by or far away, with whom you need a closer connection?
• Read Matthew 18:15-20. When have you spoken privately to a member of your faith community about an offense against you? What was the result?

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