Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle A

September 28, 2014

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Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Ezekiel 18:25-28

Psalm: 25:4-5,8-9

Second Reading: Philippians 2:1-11 

Gospel Reading: Matthew 21:28-32

  • When they refuse to answer his question about the authority of John the Baptist, Jesus tells them a parable about a vineyard. As we saw last week, the vineyard is a common biblical metaphor for God’s people (Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 5:10; Ezekiel 19:10-14).
  • This time, the parable concerns the attitude of those sent to work in the vineyard. God desires those who serve him to do so with the “obedience of faith” (Romans 1:5, 16:26; Galatians 5:6, 13-14; James 2:14-26). He also expects our actions to match our words.
  • The religious leaders who would not recognize John’s authority, also could not accept his message which was to repent of their sins (Matthew 3:2), and that those who did not “bear good fruit” will be “cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 3:10).
  • On the other hand, those unencumbered by pride and able to acknowledge their sinfulness were able to receive Jesus’ message with joy and simplicity (verses 31-32).

 

QUESTIONS:

  • In the 1st Reading, what are Ezekiel's listeners objecting to? (see verses 1-24) Why might they see God's ways as unfair? Why are they not, in fact, unfair?
  • In the 2nd Reading, what overriding quality or qualities of Christ should be ours when it comes to our dealings with God and neighbor?
  • In the Gospel Reading, what links this parable to Matthew 21:23-27?
  • In the parable, what is the father’s request? What does each son say and do? Why?
  • What group of Jesus’ listeners (verses 23; verses 31-32) is like what son? How?
  • How do you suppose each group of listeners felt about this story?
  • Are you more like the first son or like the second one? In what ways?
  • Do you look on any group of people as sinners or as “spiritually inferior”? Do you see any danger in that attitude? What is it?
  • Have you said “yes” to God? What in your life is a direct living out of that “yes”?
  • How can you better respond to God’s invitation through John the Baptist to repent, to bear good fruit, and to follow Jesus?

Closing Prayer

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  §§ 546, 574—575

 

You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.  –St. Therese of Lisieux

 

 

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