The 26th Sunday of the Year

Ez 18:25-28; Phil 2:1-11; Mt 21:28-32 (Year A)

“Lord, make me know your ways. Lord, teach me your paths. Make me walk in your truth, and teach me: for you are God my saviour.” The psalmist prayed not only that he might acknowledge God’s truth, but also that he might walk in his ways. He prayed for a moral integrity that unites word and deed, conscious that our sinful behaviour frequently contradicts the faith we profess.

The prophet Ezekiel spoke for the moral renewal demanded of Israel by the disaster of exile and the destruction of Jerusalem. The tribes of Israel had considered themselves to be chosen and blessed by God. Morality had degenerated into little more than tribal self-interest. Any sense of a personal accountability, either to God or neighbour, had been lost.

Ezekiel therefore challenged the people to review the disasters that had befallen them in the light of their own conduct.

“Listen, house of Israel: is what I do unjust? Is it not what you do that is unjust? When the upright man renounces his integrity to commit sin and dies because of this, he dies because of the evil that he himself has committed. When the sinner renounces sin to become law-abiding and honest, he deserves to live, he shall not die.”

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