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Theology for the common man

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time A Year

Sunday, September 27, 2020

The Prophet Ezekiel does not hesitate to mention to his compatriots about their lack of faith in God and because of this he tries to show there is no basis of their complaining about the unjustly actions of God toward them. The reason why God stops to bless them is due to a hardness of their hearts. This is why he asks them to go away from their sins and unbelief and to act accordingly to the law of God. Then everyone might count on the mercy of God. The Gospel today follows the same logic, in the case of Jesus, who corrects the spiritual leaders of his time. Using a parable about two sons of a man he shows in the simple way what the mercy of God is about. The first son, full of the will to work in the vineyard of his father never appears there; the second one, instead, even if he never wanted to come he just appears and starts to work in the vineyard. In result, only the second, an intractable son, has fulfilled the will of his Father, and not the first one. Behind this parable are hidden its true actors: the role of the first son plays the religious authorities of Israel who think they are faithful to the law of God but their hearts are hard; this is why they have no sensibility toward others. In the second son, Jesus sees the tax collectors and prostitutes who, using the coming of Jesus foretold by John the Baptist, come to their senses and receive divine propositions about salvation offered by Jesus. Then we are not surprised with Jesus' words saying: “Tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom of God before you (Israeli religious leaders).” The way to God is a simple and humble life, in the example of Jesus himself, who became subordinate to God till the cross. God highlights those kinds of people although they were lost before. “If someone turns from the wickedness he has committed and does what is right and just he shall preserve his life.” The guarantee is the cross of Jesus from which flows the streams of divine graces of forgiveness and coming back to the Father. Let’s use the occasion all the time in the sacrament of penance.