La povertà è freno all’arroganza, radice e custodia dell’umiltà. La povertà dà coraggio, la ricchezza lo toglie; la povertà ti rende facile la via che conduce al cielo, la ricchezza te la rende difficile; la povertà è per Dio il sostegno dei santi, la ricchezza è per il mondo il sostegno dei grandi.
Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. I Pet. 5:6
Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished. Prov. 16:5
O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people. Isa. 64:8, 9
Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth. Jer. 31:18, 19
It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Lam. 3:27
Yea, hath God said? Gen. 3:1
When the tempter came to Jesus, he said, If thou be the Son of God. Matt. 4:3
Then the devil leaveth him. Matt. 4:11
I may not return with thee. For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there. He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him. So he went back with him. The man of God…. was disobedient unto the word of the LORD: therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the LORD. I Kings 13:16-19, 26
Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Gal. 1:8
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psa. 119:11
September 27, 2020
Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Readings for Today
“Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him.” Matthew 21:31c-32
These words of Jesus are spoken to the chief priests and elders of the people. They are very direct and condemning words. They are also words spoken so as to awaken the consciences of these religious leaders.
These religious leaders were full of pride and self-righteousness. They held to their own opinions and their opinions were wrong. Their pride kept them from discovering the simple truths that tax collectors and prostitutes were discovering. For that reason, Jesus makes it clear that tax collectors and prostitutes were on the path to holiness whereas these religious leaders were not. This would have been hard for them to accept.
In which category do you find yourself? Sometimes, those who are considered “religious” or “pious” struggle with a similar pride and judgmentalness as the chief priests and elders of Jesus’ time. This is a dangerous sin because it leads a person into much obstinacy. It is for this reason that Jesus was so direct and so harsh. He was attempting to break them free from their obstinacy and prideful ways.
The most important lesson we can take from this passage is to seek the humility, openness and genuineness of the tax collectors and prostitutes. They were praised by our Lord because they could see and accept the honest truth. Sure, they were sinners, but God can forgive sin when we are aware of our sin. If we are not willing to see our sin, then it’s impossible for God’s grace to enter in and heal.
Reflect, today, upon how open you are to seeing the truth of God and, especially, to seeing your own fallen and sinful state. Do not be afraid to humble yourself before God, admitting your faults and failures. Embracing this level of humility will open the doors of God’s mercy toward you.
Lord, help me to always humble myself before You. When pride and self-righteousness enter in, help me to hear Your strong words and to repent of my obstinate ways. I am a sinner, dear Lord. I beg for Your perfect mercy. Jesus, I trust in You.
Saint of the Day – Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest
Not celebrated as a liturgical memorial this year since it falls on Sunday
Source of content: mycatholic.life
GOSPEL READING: Matthew 21:28-32
28 “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.’ 29 And he answered, `I will not’; but afterward he repented and went. 30 And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, `I go, sir,’ but did not go. 31 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. 32 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 afterward repent and believe him.”
Meditation: What kind of future are you preparing for? Jesus encourages us to think – to think about the consequences of our choices, especially the choices and decisions that will count not just for now but for eternity as well. The choices we make now will affect and shape our future, both our future on earth as well as in the life of the age to come.
Repaying a debt of gratitude and showing respect where it is due
Jesus tells a simple story of two imperfect sons to illustrate the way of God’s kingdom. The father amply provided for his sons food, lodging, and everything they needed. Everything the father had belonged to them as well. The father also rewarded his sons with excellent work in his own vineyard. He expected them to show him gratitude, loyalty, and honor by doing their fair share of the daily work.
Converting both heart and will to do what is good and pleasing to God
The “rebellious” son told his father to his face that he would not work for him. But afterwards he changed his mind and did what his father commanded him. The “good” son said he would work for his father, but didn’t follow through. He sought his own pleasure, contrary to his father’s will. Now who was really the good son? Both sons disobeyed their father – but one repented and then did what the father told him. Jesus makes his point clear – Good intentions are not enough. And promises don’t count unless they are performed.
A transformed heart filled with gratitude and respect
God wants to change our hearts so that we will show by our speech and by our actions that we respect his will and do it. God offers each one of us the greatest treasure possible – indestructable peace, joy, and friendship with him in his everlasting kingdom. We can lose that treasure if we refuse the grace – the free gift of God’s blessing and strength – which the Lord Jesus has won for us through his victory on the cross. The Lord Jesus fills us with the gift of the Holy Spirit who works in and through us for the glory of God. Do you seek to please God and respect his will and loving plan for your life? Allow the Holy Spirit to fill your heart with the peace, joy, and righteousness of God’s kingdom (Romans 14:17).
4 Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
14 The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.
Daily Quote from the Early Church Fathers: The Father and his two sons, author unknown, from the 5th century A.D.
“Who is this if not the God who created all people and loves them with a fatherly affection, the God who preferred to be loved as a father rather than feared as a lord, even though he was Lord by nature? On this account, at the beginning of the commandments of the law, he did not say, ‘You shall fear the Lord with all your heart’ but ‘you shall love the Lord with all your heart’ (Deuteronomy 6:5). To elicit love is not characteristic of a lord but of a father. Of the two sons in this parable, the older one represents the Gentiles, since they come from their father Noah. The younger son represents the Jews, who come from Abraham. ‘And approaching the first, he said, “Son, go and work today in my vineyard.” ‘Today’ refers to this present age. How did he speak to his sons? He didn’t address them face to face like man, but he spoke to the heart, like God. Man only utters words to the ear, but God supplies understanding to the mind.” (excerpt from an incomplete Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, HOMILY 40)