for Sunday, September 25, 2011
We continue the same teaching as we had last week: God is not like us and
God sees the heart. God judges according to reality, not to appearance.
The Prophet Ezekiel gives us the first reading, stating the God's ways are
all right but that ours are not. Our ways are unfair because we do not
want people who do bad things to change and be converted. Ezekiel does not
tell us much beyond that in this reading, but it is enough for us to
recognize that often we want those who do bad things to us to continue in
their ways so that they will be really punished. When people change and
convert, it makes us uneasy, knowing that they could change yet again.
Instead of rejoicing that they have changed, we often find ourselves
doubting that they have truly changed.
The Letter to the Philippians picks this same sort of theme up when it
gives us Jesus as our model, one who is always happy to see a change for
the better in others, one who delights when a sinner turns away from evil
to do good. This can only happen when we humbly regard others as more
important than ourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but
also for those of others.
Today's section of Matthew's Gospel gives us this really well - known story
about the one brother who says yes, but does nothing; and the other who
says no and yet does what he is asked. All of us know people like that.
The challenge however, is to recognize that kind of behavior in ourselves.
We need to become men and women whose word is as good as a contract.
Do I think that God is unjust? Am I unjust? Do I think that God does not
suffer in some way in Christ Jesus? Am I willing to suffer with Christ
Jesus? Do I really accept the Gospel and try to live it out in my daily
actions? Do I run away from what is difficult?
These any many other questions like them lead us to a sort of examination
of conscience. We are not doing thing to think bad thoughts about
ourselves, but rather to see the way of God, to be able to live the way of
God with joy and to run in the way of His commandments with delight.
In other words, an examination of conscience is not to tell myself how bad
I am but to find how great is God's pardon. I am bad, not entirely good,
and there is no way to change that except to ask God to change me.
This Sunday, let us do the Lord's will! Let us rejoice if even when we
say no, we are able to do what is right and good. Thanks be to God in
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: