Scripture Reflection - October 1, 2017

Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Ez 18:25-28; Ps: 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9; Phil2:1-11; Mt.21:28-32

The theme of personal responsibility is stressed in today’s readings. Back in ancient culture it was thought that people were punished for the sins of their ancestors. Ezekiel, the Prophet, inspired by God, preaches to change all that by teaching individuals they must assume responsibility for their own choices.

It is easy to complain that life is not fair, blaming God for all our problems.  In reality it is the choices we make that shape the outcome of our lives. When we choose sin, we separate ourselves from God and when we choose to do what is right, we preserve our life.  It is never too late to turn from sin, as God, like a loving parent, always forgives any wrongdoing when we are truly sorry.

Paul, in the second reading, gives us guidelines to make right choices when we are faced with decisions. He encourages us to be humble, not selfish, to regard others as more important than ourselves and to look out for them. Is this asking too much of us?  Let us not forget that God humbled himself by becoming human and endured a humiliating death so that we could have everlasting life.

Today’s Gospel shows us that we have the power to turn from bad to good. The story of the two sons is a prime example of what we do and say sometimes does not match up. What we do is what counts in God’s eye. Each one of us is judged by our own behavior. This presents hope to all of us that by doing the right thing we follow God’s commandments and gain life in heaven.

Loving God, help us to take full responsibility for all our actions.  Give us the courage to choose life over death by being humble, unselfish in putting other’s needs before our own.  Help us to spread the word of your love, compassion and mercy to all we meet, especially those who are in most need. Amen.

Pat Higgins Michel, Associate

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