Theme of the Sunday: Not One Who Says, But One Who Does. In the parable of the gospel we see two kinds of attitudes among Christians today. To do the will of the Father does not mean performing religious rituals, but following the commandment of love. The first reading shows us the people of Israel in exile because they did not do the will of their Father. The second reading uses another example, exactly the opposite of the first. Jesus does the will of his Father unto death on the cross.
Entrance Antiphon Dn 3:188.8.131.52.42
All that you have done to us, O Lord, you have done with true judgement, for we have sinned against you and not obeyed your commandments. But give glory to your name, and deal with us according to the bounty of your mercy.
O God, who manifest your almighty power above all by pardoning and showing mercy, bestow, we pray, your grace abundantly upon us, and make those hastening to attain your promises heirs to the treasures of heaven. Through our Lord…
When the wicked man turns away from his wickedness, he shall save his
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 18:25-28)
Thus says the Lord: You say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? When a righteous man turns away from it his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die for it; for the iniquity which he has committed he shall die. Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is lawful and right, he shall save his life. Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 25:4-5.6-7.8-9 (R. 6a)
R/. Remember your compassion, O Lord.
O Lord, make me know your ways.
Teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth, and teach me;
for you are the God of my salvation.
I have hoped in you all day long. R.
Remember your compassion, O Lord,
and your merciful love,
for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth,
nor my transgressions.
In your merciful love remember me,
because of your goodness, O Lord. R.
Good and upright is the Lord;
he shows the way to sinners.
He guides the humble in right judgement;
to the humble he teaches his way. R.
Have this mind among yourselves which was in Christ Jesus.
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians (Philippians 2:1-11)
Brethren: If there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The word of the Lord.
ALLELUIA John 10:27
Alleluia. My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; and I know them, and they follow me. Alleluia.
Afterwards he repented and went. The tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 21:28-32)
At that time: Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people, “What do you think? A man had two sons; and he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ “And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterwards he repented and went. “And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir, ’but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father? ”They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots believed him; and even when you saw it, you did not afterwards repent and believe him.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
An important lesson from this gospel is this: we must never make assumptions about whom the Lord will accept or reject. There can be so much good in those we consider evil and there can be so much evil in those we consider good. The prostitutes, the tax collectors, the garage boys, the street urchins, the prisoners and all those we see as the odd assortment of degeneration are finding their way to heaven through a sincere act of conversion. What matters to the Lord is sincerity of conversion and obedience to his word. In the words of G.K. Chesterton, “just going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car”. We may come to church every day, recite the rosary and follow the Stations of the Cross and observe other devotions; but, if there is no sincere act of conversion, we are off the track.