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Preaching: English A - B C / ѱ*Korean *A *B *C Spanish A B - C

A - 26th Sunday in the Ordinary Time

1st. Ez. 18,25-28. The Virtuous Man Shall live.
* Psalm 25. God's Compassion.
2nd. Phil. 2,1-11. Jesus is Lord.
Gospel. Mt. 21,28-32. Obeying God's Will.

After preaching the Gospel throughout Galilee, Samaria, Judea, and surrounding areas Jesus proclaimed the Liberating Word of God to the citizens of the most sacred city, Jerusalem. However, astonishingly, over and over again it was the higher classes such as the Priests, Doctors of the Law, and Pharisees who steadfastly opposed him and ultimately condemned him.

Jesus sometimes patiently, sometimes more uncomfortably, confronted them. And, in order for them to reconsider their position, many times told them parables trying to lead them to the truth by encouraging them to convert themselves and return to God. Today's Gospel gives another clear example of this with the parable of the father and the two sons. One son, who did not immediately obey his father, later converted and did his father's will. The other son, who "in theory" was willing to carry out his father's will, ultimately failed to do so. Through this parable, Jesus emphasizes the importance of conversion in order to enter the Kingdom of God; only those who believe and accept God's grace in Jesus Christ will join the Kingdom. Ironically, those who were first in knowing God, the Jews and especially the chiefs and Doctors of the Law, will be excluded because of their stubbornness and opposition to Jesus, while those rejected and looked down upon, like prostitutes, sinners, or the poor will precede them. In this way, by refuting the legalism and void formalism of a religious establishment, Jesus warns us all of the importance of our attitude towards God's plans of salvation. We might know history quite well but if we are not able to keep in touch with God's surprising grace at every moment of our lives, we run the risk of becoming inflexible like the Jewish leaders. It could be that, instead of following God's path, we might find ourselves following our own desires on the way to no place at all but discomfort and unrest.

God is good and merciful. He loves us more than we deserve. Therefore in his kindness, He sent us His only Son to share with us His own life of love, compassion, freedom, hope, joy, and so on. Salvation thereby depends on accepting this grace as coming from Jesus; it is not something to gain as a prize for our efforts. Thus, most of all we have to open our hearts to God's grace and try our best to follow him, to carry out his will. Looking to the History of Salvation, God appears as a merciful and generous Father. Having given us everything He has, it is our duty to open up our hearts to God's grace and try our very best to follow him, although sometimes we do not see the way clearly. Even though we do not understand well what is going on, we have to try to carry out His will of loving each other as He loves us, supporting and caring for one another, becoming "one" in Him, etc.

Finally, to sum up, today's readings emphasize personal responsibility in Salvation History. Such a responsibility becomes a life commitment to God, a covenant with God. Only by being truthful to God and to ourselves we will be able to attain Salvation. Such a responsibility calls not only on God's gracious compassion but, above all, it calls upon every individual to seriously take up his role in life by being humble before God with a sincere heart, constantly looking for His will and trying to carry it out.

Preaching: English A - B C / ѱ*Korean *A *B *C Spanish A B - C