Year A: 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Matthew 21: 28-32
The Gospels over the next few weeks begin to show the clashes that began to happen between Jesus and the authorities - conflicts that were to lead eventually to His death.
Today, He highlights the difference between those who pay lip service to God - and those who, having set out on the wrong track, change their minds and turn back to do as He asks.
The situation that Jesus describes is one that we are all familiar with. We have all met those who say they will do something - and then find that they have not - and those who start out being against an idea or refuse a request but who then think better of it and get on with it.
Jesus is making it clear that saying that one loves God and wishes to be a part of the Kingdom is not enough. The chief priests and the elders honoured the Law and taught it - but had become stuck in their observation of it. The tax collectors and prostitutes had turned their backs on the Law and were, therefore, seen as outside Godís salvation.
However, they were the ones who saw that God was doing a new thing in Jesus and were changing their ways - repenting of the sin and setting out on a new life that was to lead them into the Kingdom.
For those who had led lives of great goodness and uprightness, the thought that such people would enter heaven before them was appalling.
Jesus reminds them of John the Baptistís example of true righteousness - a man on fire with love and zeal for God and says that, even having seen that, they are not prepared to believe and change.
It reminds us not to get complacent too. The Gospel is a challenge to change - to grow. It is not to become comfortable with the idea that we have ďarrivedĒ and have all the answers but to be constantly aware that there are failings in ourselves to overcome. We need constantly to fix our eyes on Christ - and be prepared to leave behind the things that hold us back - travel lightly and join the tax collectors and prostitutes on the journey to heaven.
What does it mean for me?
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