26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A by Rev Fr Isaac Ata Mensah

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26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A by Rev Fr Isaac Ata Mensah

First Reading: Ezekiel 18:25-28
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 25
Second Reading: Philippians 2:1-11
Gospel: Matthew 21:28-32


Theme: A Change of Mind


Critical thinking and making decisions will always be difficult because it takes time and energy to weigh your options. Things like second-guessing yourself and feeling indecisive are just a part of the process. In many ways, they’re a good thing—a sign that you’re thinking about your choices instead of just going with the flow.

Our readings of today draw our attention to one of the critical moments in the life of a person and that is, decision making. Our elders will say that “it is only a fool who doesn’t change his or her mind after a decision has been arrived earlier”. Therefore I would like to reflect with you on the theme; a change of mind.

The English dictionary explains the phrase ‘change of mind’ as a decision to reverse an earlier decision. Flip-flop, turnabout, turnaround or reversal.

Explanation of the Text

Our first reading seeks to address a very popular but erroneous conception that God visits the sins of fathers on the children and grandchildren ( cf Ex 34:7) as the antecedent of this belief. The book of Ezekiel is an exilic book. It was written during the time of the exiles where the people put their present predicament squarely and entirely on their forefathers. They therefore claimed innocence and questioned the justice of God. What the author seeks to do in this text is introducing the concept of individual responsibility to correct this popular but erroneous perception. The writer in our first reading points out that the unrighteous will live if he or she considered and turned from all the transgressions he or she had committed ( Ezekiel 18:28). The key points here are “considered and turning away” and that suggest a change of mind. This means that after years , months, days and hours of reflecting, examining and introspecting his or her life vis-a-vis that of God’s commandment the person begins to make amends.

The issue of change of mind is again taken over by Jesus in our Gospel reading when He gave a scenario of two brothers who were approached by their father to work in the vineyard. The first one objected initially but upon reflection, examination and careful introspection went to do the work. The second agreed but later changed the mind and never went to the vineyard.
What motivates our actions and what mindset do we have in carrying out our tasks. St Paul in our second reading admonishes us to have clear and good mindset in doing what we do. Thus Paul says that “… have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus… (Phil 2:4).

Christianity is not about paying lip service but more of actions. It is not enough to say I will do it. Christianity is not something that can be chosen from a buffet of religious options. Indeed it is a realization that we are guilty and that’s what the first son did. It is a relationship forged in repentance. It is a life of loving service and not lip service such as the second son and the obedience to the One whose Mercy and Grace set us free.

I will conclude with the words of the great theologian John Henry Newman who said that to live here on earth is to change, and that to be perfect is to have changed often. Remember the only constant thing in this life is change…




1 Comment
  1. Christopher Rockson says

    Change is good. Positive change is much better and change that affect the lives of many is awesome.

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