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Enter the Kingdom of God

Sep 28, 2014 | [post_view] Views

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Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 28, 2014

 

READINGS

First Reading: EZ 18:25-28

Responsorial Psalm: PS 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14

Second Reading: PHIL 2:1-11

Gospel: MT 21:28-32

 

Homily

In order to enter the Kingdom of God, it is necessary to repent of our sins, ask for God’s forgiveness and work in His vineyard.

In the Gospel, Jesus tells of a story about two sons who where asked by their father to work in the vineyard. The first son said “no” but later decided to go and work in the vineyard. This mirrors the tax collectors and prostitutes who are publicly known as sinners, who disobeyed God but at the preaching of John the Baptist, they believed in him, repented of their sins and were baptized. John the Baptist preached a baptism of repentance to prepare the way of the Lord, the coming of the messiah. The taxcollectors and other sinners did what God wanted them to do that is to accept Jesus as the Messiah. 

The second son, who said “yes,” who seem to obey at first but did not go to work at the vineyard, mirrors the chief priests and elders of the people who publicly show that they were righteous, that they were not sinful and therefore did not need  repentance. They said “yes” but did not do what God wants, that is, to accept Jesus as the promised Messiah. The iniquity they committed is their nonacceptance of God’s ways of salvation. They will not be able to enter the Kingdom of God.

Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you,
tax collectors and prostitutes
are entering the kingdom of God before you.

Jesus was saying to them that only those who return to God with a repentant heart, changed their ways and follow God’s plan of salvation will enter the Kingdom of God.

In our first reading from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel, Ezekiel presents a formula to enter the Kingdom of God

But if he turns from the wickedness he has committed,
he 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.

Ezekiel is saying that in order to preserve our lives and be saved, we need to turn away from our wicked ways and return to God with a repentant heart and a changed mind and do what is right and just by working in God’s vineyard, the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God is offered to everyone both the righteous and sinners but only those who accept God’s reconciliation and do as Jesus tells will be able to enter the Kingdom of God.

 

Image credit: nika87tequila.deviantart.com

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