Twenty-sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year A, 1st October 2023

Christ obedient unto death

This week’s readings call us to turn to the Lord, modelling our actions and words on Christ Jesus.

The First Reading, from the prophet Ezekiel, gives hope. Those who think better of their situation and renounce it are given life.

The Psalm reveals the heartfelt prayer of someone turning away from their sin and embracing the gift of new life.

The apostle Paul shows what it is to give up sin and take on the mind of Christ (Second Reading). The Church at Philippi was on the whole a source of joy for Paul, but here he appeals for greater unity. This is reached only by imitating the humility of Christ, who became obedient even unto death. Out of love for us, Christ even gives up his divinity, freely and without reservation. 

Amidst growing tension following the overturning of the money changers’ tables in the Temple, the religious leaders confront Jesus, demanding to know the source of his authority. Jesus tells the parable of the two sons, and poses a question, causing the chief priests to reflect on the difference between putting self or others first.  By answering correctly, thereby aligning themselves to the boy who said he would do his Father’s will but then doesn’t, they convict themselves (Gospel).

This week, let us keep close to Christ, who obeyed the Father perfectly in word and deed.  And let us remember that it is never too late for us to turn to God and follow God’s will.