TWENTY SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR A
1st October 2023
Ezekiel 18:25-28; Philippians 2:1-11; Matthew 21:28-32.
Every good thing we do has an eternal value. Today’s gospel emphasises the importance of obedience to the will of God through reflection. Action speaks louder than voice. Jesus wants our obedience in action. The parable of the two sons reveals that obedience to the will of God is achieved through reflection. The father in the parable wanted his two sons to go work in his vineyard. The first said no but had a rethink and went to work in the vineyard; the second said yes but did not go to the vineyard. What is it about reflection that made the first son to go to work in the vineyard?
Reflection is the key to understanding and doing the will of God. We notice from the parable that the initial hesitation of the first son did not count. God understands that his will often appear to the modern mind as interference. In our contemporary world nobody wants to be told what to do. God does not interfere with human freedom. The will of God will not be seen as interference if our desire is to do the right thing always. Through reflection we see in the alignment of the will of God and our desire to do the right thing. God’s will is always beneficial to humanity. Reflection is the eyes through which we discover this.
The first reading revealed this alignment in the argument about God being unjust when it says: Listen, you House of Israel: is what I do unjust? Is it not what you do that is unjust? When the upright man renounces his integrity to commit sin and dies because of this, he dies because of the evil that he himself has committed. When the sinner renounces sin to become law-abiding and honest, he deserves to live. The power of reflection is felt in action. It takes only a rethink to see that our desire to do the right thing always feature in God’s will.
Fr Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.