Sunday, September 28, 2014

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, September 28, 2014 with Reflection

1ST READING - Ezekiel 18:25-28
25 Thus says the Lord: You say, “The Lord’s way is not fair!” Hear now, house of Israel: Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair? 26 When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies, it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die. 27 But if he turns from the wickedness he has committed, and does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; 28 since he has turned away from all the sins which he committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
P S A L M - Psalm 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R: Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths, 5guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior.(R) Remember that your compassion, O Lord, and your love are from of old. The sins of my youth and my frailties remember not; in your kindness remember me, because of your goodness, O Lord. (R) Good and upright is the Lord; thus he shows sinners the way. He guides the humble to justice, he teaches the humble his way. (R)
2ND READING - Philippians 2:1-11
Brothers and sisters: If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing. Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but also for those of others. Have in you the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me.
Matthew 21:28-32
28 Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people: “What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 He said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went. 30 The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go. 31 Which of the two did his father’s will?” They answered, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. 32 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.”


Many teenagers struggle with their parents’ instructions and demands. At a time in their life when they seek maturity and their own identity, a parent can often be their frustration and ongoing enemy. Parents only want to offer advice in love. They were once teenagers, too, and feel it is in their children’s best interest to help them out. But many teenagers desire to hold firm to their opinion and this results in anger, misunderstanding and miscommunication.

       The parable of Jesus today reminds me of the relationship between parents and teenagers. The parent in the parable is asking for assistance in the vineyard, and the son, a teenager, doesn’t want to help out initially but obliges later on. The teenager at first will reject the advice of the parent, but after thoughtful consideration may change his mind and heart, as we see in the first person mentioned in the parable today. Jesus explains to thePharisees that many are coming into the Kingdom; albeit they are sinners, excluded from the synagogue worship, they eventually have a change of mind and heart.

       We all have a tendency to initially react negatively to advice, correction or requests because they infringe on our freedom and decision to act. We want to be in control, so we do not like it when one comes asking for assistance that will take our time, energy and effort.

         At first the sinners and the unwelcomed guests were reveling in their own ways following their own will. At the sight of Jesus’ concern and love, they have a change of heart and mind. And this is what Jesus celebrates in His parable — transformation, conversion, a reversal of lifestyle. The stubbornness of the Pharisees is proven, Jesus observes, that even after witnessing this change of heart and mind, they are not willing to change themselves. The call of the Lord is demanding. A part of us stubbornly resists change. We become too comfortable in our sin. The Gospel reminds us to change our ways for the sake of the Kingdom. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you delight in the will of God or your own will?
Lord of love, make me walk in the way of Your truth. Amen.

St. Wenceslaus, martyr, pray for us.

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