Our choices and actions show whether we truly belong to our Savior
Reflections on the readings for the twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (September 27, 2020): EZ 18:25-28; PS 25:4-5,8-9,10,14; PHIL 2:1-11; MT 21:28-32
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
Jesus elaborates on this idea in the Parable of the Two Sons...Just because people think that they live according to God’s will does not mean they do.
In the readings for this Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, we hear how we are all responsible for the choices we make. In God’s mercy, He allows us to recognize our sins and to approach Him with sorrow and the desire to mend our ways. The Old Testament reading from Ezekiel assures us that if we turn from evil and do what is right and just, our life will be saved. Jesus elaborates on this idea in the Parable of the Two Sons. He speaks directly to the chief priest and the elders and He offers the example of a man with two sons. That man tells each of them to go out and work in the vineyard. The first refuses, but the second agrees. However, they both change their minds with the result that the first son does, in fact, do what his father directed him, and the second does not. So when Christ questions His listeners about which of them is actually obedient to the father, they agree that it is really the first son who ends up doing what was asked of him. And once again, our Lord tells these people who are so sure of themselves about the kingdom of God – and how they and others like them risk their place in the kingdom. He reminds them, “When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him” (Matthew 21:32).
Just because people think that they live according to God’s will does not mean they do. The sinful people who followed John the Baptist and then Christ were not the ones who would be expected to be open to letting God change their lives. Yet Jesus wants us to know that every day provides chances for us to simply profess to be Christian – or to genuinely embrace His gift of mercy and eternal life. Whether or not we seek and serve the kingdom of God is our own choice. Our Redeemer knows our hearts. And our daily words and deeds in living out the Gospel message reveal the depth of our love for Him and for one another.
Suggested missionary action: Let us ask Christ to help us realize that we decide each and every day whether or not we sincerely follow Him and serve the will of our Loving Father.