On this twenty sixth Sunday of the Ordinary time we heard from one of the great Prophets of the Old Testament, Ezekiel, as we know him through his writing speaking to the Israelite’s people in a very specific moment of their life. It was about the time of their deportation far away from their native place. The Jews were scattered all over a pagan soil. It was like a deplorable catastrophe and many of them blamed it as the consequences of the sins of their predecessors. As usual it is somebody else’s fault, no one wants to take responsibility. The prophet Ezekiel reacts against this absurd mentality and reminds everyone about their own responsibilities. The only way to approach this situation is by reviewing their lives and keeping their focus on the Lord. Turn away from your iniquities and seek God’s grace to escape from the glamour of death.
In the second reading, Paul, in his letter to the Philippians gave us a model of what it means to turn away from iniquities and change one’s heart. In one word Paul is telling us
clothe ourselves with humility and be united in heart with one another. Take Christ Jesus as our model who accepted to empty Himself and took the human flesh just to journey close to us, we, humankind, to the point he died on the cross for our salvation. Such love has been shown to humanity in a very effective way in the person of Jesus whom God has exalted above all things here on earth and in the heavens. The Gospel is of the other master piece where Jesus uses the analogy of the vineyard for the second time. Again, He was addressing a group of people who pretended to be the best among others. Of
course they have been practicing the law and the precepts but they hide behind this glass and do not respond to the call for conversion. This parable once again put in context the choice Jesus has made to welcome the sinners. Those who have always said no to God. Jesus saw what they have in their hearts; he knows their suffering and their desires to change their lives. Since they found joy in Jesus, they opt for an encounter that has changed their lives and became his followers. Their “No” became a “Yes” because they have been touched by such great love in a way that they never felt before. Through this parable, we get to truly understand that Jesus has extended an invitation to everyone, righteous and sinners alike, to be part of the vineyard and to do the will of the Father. To do the will of the Father is not about just having good intentions, rather it is a
commitment, an adhesion to change one’s live and work in the vineyard as we share our faith and hope with the rest of the world. If you haven’t felt that need for commitment before, would you be able to change your opinion today, say a big “YES” to the Lord and go to work in the vineyard? The
answer is yours.
Fr. Ducasse Francois, Pastor