26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Good and upright is the Lord; thus, he shows sinners the way and teaches the humble his way. (Psalm 25) All the scriptures of this Sunday are helping us to know that God loves us. That we are sinners does not mean that he does not love us. On the contrary, the saints tell us that our sins give God a reason for his mercy and compassion. Jesus told the parable of the Prodigal’s Son; his father went out to embrace him and bring him home.
Forgiveness is a virtue, not a sin. God does not hate us; he loves us infinitely. Jesus, in Matthew’s example, points out that the son who did the father’s will, after saying no, was more righteous. Jesus tells the chief priests and elders that the tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom before them.
Ezechiel says: You say the Lord’s way is not fair; Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your way unfair? The scripture for today tells us it is not enough to seem to do the right thing. Jesus tells us that following him requires that he must live in us and we, in him. Action must follow our prayers and contemplation. Remember your mercy, O Lord.
Saint Paul tells the Philippians, Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather humbly regarding others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but also for those of others. As we prepare to offer bread and wine to become the body and blood of Jesus, we know that we, too, must be transformed by the Eucharist into the person of Christ, as Saint Paul describes.
Let us pray:
O God who manifest your almighty power above all by pardoning and showing mercy, bestow we pray, your grace abundantly upon us and make us hasten to attain your promise as heirs to the treasures of heaven (Collect).