Sunday, September 28, 2014

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A (Sept. 28, 2014)

First reading: Ez. 18: 25-28

“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?  When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies, it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.  But if he turns from the wickedness he has committed, and does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; since he has turned away from all the sins that he has committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.”

Second reading: Phil. 2: 1-5
“Brothers and sisters: If there is any encouragement in Christ, and 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.”

Gospel reading: Mt. 21: 28-32
“Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people: ‘What is your opinion?  A man has two sons.  He came to the first and said, Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.  He said in reply, I will not, but afterwards changed his mind and went.  The man came to the other son and gave the same order.  He said in reply, Yes sir, but did not go.  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.  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.’”


Introductory theme summary:
The common theme from today’s readings is the importance of our actions, works or deeds.  Whatever someone might say about themselves, it is only deemed true if what they say is supported by what they do. 

This theme is very much in line with why James tells us that faith without works is dead.[1]  So many people claim to believe in Christ, yet do none or very few of the things associated with believing in Him.  Who do they think they are fooling?  Regardless of how successful they may be at fooling the people in their day to day lives, they cannot fool God.  He will not be fooled.

So, why is it so importance to have works?
The simple fact is: our works, or deeds if you prefer, point to the authenticity of our true being.  We all know the saying, “Actions speak louder than words.”  Though no deed or work can supersede the necessity of faith, if the claim of faith lacks works or deeds to support the claim, than the individual has yet to actually integrate what they believe for it to take root within themselves.  The desired effect is for those beliefs to cause a specific change within their being.  In short: It is not enough to believe, we must become what we believe and then we have salvation.

Has our Lord’s words taken root within you?
Are you living your life as a true Christian?

[1] Jam. 2: 26 “For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”

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