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Scripture Reflection - October 1, 2023

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

26th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Ezekiel 18:25-28 | Philippians 2: 1-5 | Matthew 21: 28-32

Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York Scripture Reflection

Since we were children, we were taught that actions speak louder than words. What we do means more than what we say. Our readings this Sunday reinforce this belief.

In Ezekiel, we hear, “Thus says the Lord: You say, “the Lord’s way is not fair!” Hear now: Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair? Israel keeps on whining, ‘That’s not fair! God’s not fair.’ Israel, you’re the ones who are not fair. I’ll judge each of you according to the way you live. One who does what is right and just, shall surely live.

Our reading from Philippians reminds us to do nothing out of selfishness. Or, put another way, do nothing self-serving. Do for others!

As we prepare for the Synod on Synodality, let us examine our behavior compared to how we say we should act. In this Synod, Pope Francis calls on all baptized Catholics and all people of good will to enter into conversation and discernment with him, the bishops and one another about the future of the church by use of synodal listening sessions. A special invitation was made to include everyone on the peripheries and edges of the church to help shape the future vision of a church that we can believe in. Francis has said that the voice of Christ is speaking through the entire People of God. This Synod is an expression of that belief, a hope for a church that represents all. We acknowledge that the invitation was not equally made to all. Participation was restricted and structured. Some parishes, dioceses, and some national episcopal conferences took the challenge seriously and openly conducted synodal conversations; others, perhaps, missed the point; others ignored the call completely. In the Gospel of today, Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people: “What is your opinion?”

Personally, did I hear the invitation and respond? Did I participate in a process that was creative and inclusive? Did I ask how the results of our dialogue would be communicated? Did I speak out in support of this Synod on Synodality? Did I act, show up and participate in the process? Did my actions speak louder than my words? What did I do to be sure those on the edges were included in the dialogue?

Let us ask each other, “What is your opinion?” Did I do enough? Can I do more? Which of us did God’s will? Pope Francis? Me?

Let us pray for each other as we consider this examination of conscience!

Sr. Ellenrita Purcaro, OP


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