26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Ez. 18:26-28 Phil. 2:1-11 Mat. 21:28-32
Theme: A Call to Repentance
Last Sunday our reflection pointed out the fact that God’s ways are different from our human ways. On this twenty-six Sunday of the year, we also see something similar in our readings. In our liturgy for this Sunday, we see the emphasis on obedience to God, as against disobedience. With obedience comes the blessings of God, while disobedience separates us from the blessings of God. In view of this, dear friends in Christ, we are all invited to put into practice the word of God that we hear and listen to in our daily lives.
The first reading for this Sunday, presents a situation that we may have found ourselves at one time or the other in our lives. The Israelites were shifting the blame of their difficult situation to God, instead of taking responsibility for their situation. They are accusing God of allowing them go into exile in Babylon, and God through the prophet is pointing out to them that they are the cause of their problems. Their sin and disobedience to the word of God was the reason for their situation. The prophet invites them to retrace their steps, repent of their sins and return to God. It is an invitation to repentance that re-unites us with God. This is a call to righteousness and holiness of life for us all.
In the second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians, we are encouraged to imbibe the spirit of obedience and humility that is found in the person of Jesus Christ in his mission to redeem mankind. He was obedient to the Father and was driven by his love for you and I, even though he was God. All these wonderful attributes we see in the obedience of Jesus is something we need to emulate in our lives as children of God. These wonderful attributes are love, obedience, humility, and selflessness. With all these attributes, he was able to go to the cross and make salvation possible for all of us. The question we must answer today as individuals is how many of these attributes of Jesus do I have in my life? With the grace of God and our personal efforts, we can imbibe all these wonderful attributes in our lives. It is never too late for us to repent and retrace our steps and go back to God.
In the gospel, with the story of the two brothers, Jesus teaches us that obedience is important and, we should mean whatever we say with our mouths. Remember, the scripture tells us that obedience is better than sacrifice. There is power in spoken words. Always say what you can do and do what you say. This is very important; your word should always be your bond.
The assertion of Jesus in the gospel, “that prostitutes and tax collectors are making their way to heaven before us” calls us to action. Let us resolve today to change our ways and be obedient to the word of God. May God richly bless us as we do this in our daily lives, in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you!