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Back The 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Saturday, September 26, 2020
From the Desk of Fr. Ron…….
The advertising industry is excellent at “branding” or assisting certain businesses or ventures to create a slogan, that would continue to identify their client each time the slogan is heard. The slogan could display a vision for future accomplishments or a goal yet to be achieved.
In our Biblical lesson from St. Matthew this weekend we learn that actions speak louder than words. Jesus told the story of two sons; one of which said he would do as the father had requested, but did not and one son that refused, but relented and finally accomplished what the father desired. As always Jesus provides a question so that his audience can reason through the story and arrive at a conclusion. “Which son did what the father requested?” His audience, chief priests and elders of the people were leaders who had to speak and provide direction for people in following the ways of the Lord God. As Jesus hoped, they chose the second son who refused but came to his senses and accomplished the father’s will. This awareness opens the door to Jesus who provides His reflection: “Tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom of God before you.” (Matthew 21:31).
Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter 21, begins with Jesus entry into Jerusalem. Amid a joyful crowd, the people shout, “Hosanna to the Son of David, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” Matthew then recalls Jesus dismissing the buyers and sellers from the temple; an action that didn’t sit well with the scribes and Pharisees. The chief priests and elders then question on what authority does Jesus do such things? Jesus responds to them again with a question, to which they remain silent.
The chief priests and elders have all the slogans of faith committed to memory, but their actions are far from giving witness to that belief. At the preaching of John the Baptizer, many sinners found challenging and were able to repent and turn from their lives of sin to await the Messiah and recognize Him when He would come. However, many of the chief priests and elders saw no need for their own introspection and admission of their own sinfulness. This lack of repentance thus blinded them and hardened their hearts to hear and accept Jesus’ ministry.
Near the end of the summer, lawn signs began to appear here on our Church property. Our school principal, borrowing from some NYS slogans had some printed which say: “Nativity Strong!” The sign conveys our extensive efforts to reopen while keeping all our parishioners, guests, students, teachers and staff safe. We didn’t, in weakness, just “give up” but we worked harder to do all we can to continue our mission. We propose that ours is not an empty slogan but one that expresses the committed actions of our faith community.
Let us profess our faith, our love and care for each other, not only in word but in deeds as well.