TWENTY SIXTH SUNDAY IN THE ORDINARY TIME, YEAR A
27th September 2020.
Ezekiel 18:25-28; Philippians 2:1-11; Matthew 21:28-32.
Today in the gospel Jesus Christ used the parable of the Two Sons to ask us the question; Do our words indicate our obedience to God? If not our words, do our actions? According to the parable, two sons were asked by their father to go and work in his vineyard. The first refused but thought better of it and went. The second agreed to go to the vineyard, but did not. In the end it was the first son who did the father’s will. What God demands from us is obedience and not lip service. Our initial reluctance does not count because of our freewill.
Reflection plays a very important role in the exercise of our freewill. The virtue of obedience is not easy to achieve. It is not easy to freely give up our will without being compelled. God’s demands may appear difficult at first, but with reflection we understand why God’s will must prevail. In fact God’s will does not contradict human life when viewed from the Creator’s perspective. It is easy to obey the physicians instruction because we understand his knowledge of human anatomy. The same should apply between us and God. It is through reflection that we are able to see from God’s own perspective. God will not demand from us what is beyond our ability.
The first son did the father’s will because he took time to think it over. He realised that it was his father sending him to work in the vineyard which is the family’s source of livelihood. Our decisions will never contradict God’s will if we form the habit of thinking it over especially when the demand appears difficult at first. St. Josemaria Escriva wrote: The power of obedience! The lake of Gennesareth had denied its fishes to Peter’s nets. A whole night in vain. Then, obedient, he lowered his net again to the water and they caught ‘a huge number of fish.’ Believe me: the miracle is repeated each day. Obedience to God brings joy to the heart. Obedience to the government restrictions will keep us safe from the virus. If we take time to reflect over the rising figures in infection rate, it will make it easier for us to keep to the guidelines. Reflection is a kind of prayer. Reflection will enable us not to offer lip service to God. He loves us and wants the best for us all the time.
Fr Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.