Saturday, September 24, 2011



SEPTEMBER 25, 2011

Ez 18:25-28 / Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9 / Phil 2:1-11 or 2:1-5 / Mt 21:28-32

EZEKIEL 18:25-28
The word of Yahweh came to me in these terms, You say: "Yahweh's way
is not just! Why, Israel! Is my position wrong? Is it not rather that
yours is wrong? If the righteous man dies after turning from his
righteous deeds and sinning, he dies because of his sins. And if the
wicked man does what is good and right, af ter turning from the sins
he commit ted, he will save his life. He will live and not die,
because he has opened his eyes and turned from the sins he had commit

If I may advise you in the name of Christ and if you can hear it as
the voice of love; if we share the same spirit and are capable of
mercy and compassion, then I beg of you make me very happy: have one
love, one spirit, one feeling, do nothing through rivalry or vain
conceit. On the contrary let each of you gently consider the others as
more important than yourselves. Do not seek your own interest, but
rather that of others. Your attitude should be the same as Jesus
Christ had: Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard
equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied himself,
taking on the nature of a servant, made in human likeness, and in his
appearance found as a man. He humbled himself by being obedient to
death, death on the cross. That is why God exalted him and gave him
the Name which outshines all names, so that at the Name of Jesus all
knees should bend in heaven, on earth and among the dead, and all
tongues proclaim that Christ Jesus is the Lord to the glory of God the

MATTHEW 21:28-32
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders, "What do you think of
this? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said to him: `Son,
today go and work in my vineyard.' And the son answered: `I don't want
to.' But later he thought better of it and went. Then the father went
to the second and gave him the same command. This son replied: `I will
go, sir,' but he did not go. Which of the two did what the father
wanted?" They answered, "The first." And Jesus said to them, "Truly, I
say to you: the publicans and the prostitutes are ahead of you on the
way to the kingdom of heaven. For John came to show you the way of
goodness but you did not believe him, yet the publicans and the
prostitutes did. You were witnesses of this, but you neither repented
nor believed him."

The theme of change is seen in the parable of the two sons whose
father is the owner of a vineyard. The father commands his sons to go
and work there. The first initially refuses but later changes his mind
and goes. In contrast, the second child says yes but eventually does
not fulfill what he says.

Today's Gospel, then, is clearly directed at the religious and civil
leaders of the people in Jesus' time. They spoke much about God and,
in particular, how God was to be served by a strict observance of the
Law. But they did not apparently have the spirit that Jesus was
communicating through his life and teaching, that is, the spirit of
love, compassion, caring and forgiveness for the weak and vulnerable.
They also heard the teaching of Jesus but made no effort to carry it
out. They excused themselves by challenging Jesus' legal authority to
do what he was doing. Because Jesus did not fit into the parameters of
their legal world, they could not classify him and they rejected him.
In summary, they and their ancestors had a long tradition of following
God's Law but now, faced first with John the Baptist and then with
Jesus, the Son of God, they refused to listen.

On the other hand, the "tax collectors and the prostitutes are making
their way into the kingdom of God before you." They certainly were not
keeping God's Law. They had said no to his commandments many times.
But when they met Jesus, they experienced a radical transformation
(metanoia) in their lives. They listened and they responded. In the
Gospel Jesus points out the people who have chosen him despite their
shady backgrounds. Many of the dregs of society, thieves and people of
low lives heard the message of the Lord and changed their lives. They
became Christians in action as well as in word. In summary, Gentiles
who had lived godless or idolatrous lives for generations were now
turning to Jesus and opening themselves to his teaching and his
healing power.

Two messages can be drawn out from this parable. One, we can never be
complacent about our relationship with God. It is possible for any of
us at any time to find ourselves falling away from our commitment to
Jesus and to his Gospel. And God always accepts us where we are. If we
are in union with him, things are well; if we have by our own choice
become separated from him, he accepts that too. His love and his grace
are always available but they can be rejected and spurned. And we can
"die in our sin."

On the other hand, no matter how far we have strayed from God and
Jesus in the Gospel, no matter how depraved we have become, it is
never too late to turn back and we can be absolutely sure that a warm,
no-questions-asked welcome is waiting for us. The parables of the
prodigal son and the encounter of Peter with the Risen Jesus would
readily at test to this.

We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the speedy recovery and healing of:
- Evelyn Ponce de Leon
- Jo Marcelo
- Wally Torres
- Mon Torres
- Melba Sison and Kurt Czyrell
- Rita P. Cuerva
- Eden Batuto
- Linda O, Mary Ann, Brian, Kristen, Maureen (OH), Delores, Nancy,
Debbie, Eugene R, Betty B, Frank, Gene & Nick A
- Normita Siaco
… for the personal intentions of
- Meghan & Dana
- Josheil Dapo
… for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Glenn Funk
- Lamberto V. Villacorta Sr.
- Luningning Reyes de Quiros
- Danilo G. Francisco
- Lourdes Chua
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Estrella De Leon
- Birthday: Mary Grace Lebuna
- Birthday: Henry Gamilla
- In Memoriam (+): Siu Tian
… for families who are in need of healing
… for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!


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