Liturgy of the Sunday

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Twenty-sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

First Reading

Ezekiel 18,25-28

'Now, you say, "What the Lord does is unjust." Now listen, House of Israel: is what I do unjust? Is it not what you do that is unjust? When the upright abandons uprightness and does wrong and dies, he dies because of the wrong which he himself has done. Similarly, when the wicked abandons wickedness to become law-abiding and upright, he saves his own life. Having chosen to renounce all his previous crimes, he will most certainly live: he will not die.


Psalm 24


Lord, remember your great mercy and love.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
I trust you, let me not be disappointed;
do not let my enemies triumph.

Those who hope in you shall not be disappointed,
but only those who wantonly break faith.

Lord, make me know your ways.
Lord, teach me your paths.

Make me walk in your truth and teach me;
for you are God my saviour.
In you I hope all day long

Remember your mercy, Lord.,
and the love you have shown of old.

Do not remember the sins of my youth.
In your love remember me
because of your goodness, O Lord.

The Lord is good and upright.
He shows the path to those who stray,

He guides the humble in the right path;
He teaches his ways to the poor.

His ways are faithfulness and love
for those who keep his covenant and will.

Lord, for the sake of your name
forgive my guilt; for it is great.

If anyone fears the Lord
he will show him the path he should choose.

His soul shall live in happiness
and his children shall possess the land.

The Lord's friendship is for those who revere him;
to them he reveals his covenant.

My eyes are always on the Lord;
for he rescues my feet from the snare.

Turn to me and have mercy
for I am lonely and poor.

Relieve the anguish of my heart
and set me free from my distress.

See my affliction and my toil
and take all my sins away.

See how many are my foes;
how violent their hatred for me.

Preserve my life and rescue me.
Do not disappoint me, you are my refuge.

May innocence and uprightness protect me :
for my hope is in you, O Lord.

Redeem Israel, O God,
from all its distress.

Second Reading

Philippians 2,1-11

So if in Christ there is anything that will move you, any incentive in love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any warmth or sympathy -- I appeal to you, make my joy complete by being of a single mind, one in love, one in heart and one in mind. Nothing is to be done out of jealousy or vanity; instead, out of humility of mind everyone should give preference to others, everyone pursuing not selfish interests but those of others. Make your own the mind of Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, did not count equality with God something to be grasped. But he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, becoming as human beings are; and being in every way like a human being, he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross. And for this God raised him high, and gave him the name which is above all other names; so that all beings in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld, should bend the knee at the name of Jesus and that every tongue should acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 21,28-32

'What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He went and said to the first, "My boy, go and work in the vineyard today." He answered, "I will not go," but afterwards thought better of it and went. The man then went and said the same thing to the second who answered, "Certainly, sir," but did not go. Which of the two did the father's will?' They said, 'The first.' Jesus said to them, 'In truth I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you, showing the way of uprightness, but you did not believe him, and yet the tax collectors and prostitutes did. Even after seeing that, you refused to think better of it and believe in him.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia


"The tax-collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you," Jesus told the Pharisees listening to him in the temple. But what is Jesus' reprimand to them? He calls out the distance between what they do and what they say. And he explains using a short parable. A man had two children: he asked each to work in the vineyard. The first does not want to go, but then goes. The second says yes but then he gives up. Jesus then asks the Pharisees: "Which of the two did the will of his father?" They have no choice but to respond, "the first one." Very often in the Gospel we hear that words are not enough; what counts is "to do the will of God." Words alone do not save; we have to put them into practice. The example of the first son is effective: he fulfils the will of the father not with words, which are actually contrary to what he does, but with deeds. The first considers himself a son; he mends his ways because he believes the vineyard belongs to him. The second son instead calls his father "Lord" but considers himself like a stranger. Jesus says: "Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord", will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does the will of my Father in heaven" (Mt 7:21).
Jesus knows that a sinner can always change, while someone who thinks they are right has difficulty accepting the call to conversion. Jesus takes example from those who listen (or don't) to the Baptist: the Pharisees rejected him, meanwhile sinners converted. In fact, the sinners did not just listen, they asked: "What then should we do?" (Lk 3:10-14) -- and they did was the teacher told them. The example of Francis of Assisi-which we will celebrate in a few days-is the opposite of this pharisaic religiosity. He was a disciple in the full sense of the word: he listened to the Gospel and he immediately put it into practice-to the letter. No, he was not a hero. Rather he was a man who let himself be loved by the Lord and this is why he followed the Lord without resistance. He left everything because he found someone who loved him more than he loved himself. And it is like that for us too, at least when it comes to the Lord. Jesus loved us more than we love ourselves. Francis of Assisi recognized this. It is hard for us because our eyes are still full of ourselves and our problems. Let us turn our gaze to the Lord and let ourselves be loved by him.