OMELIE / Omelie EN

01/10/2017 – 26th Sunday of O. T.  – Year A

01/10/2017 – 26th Sunday of O. T.  – Year A

1st reading  Ezechiel 18,25-28  from Psalm  24/25  2nd reading.  Philippians 2,1-11  Gospel Matthew 21,28-32

Ezekiel the prophet reports a word from God that is simple but serious: he reveals that men often swear, blaming God for evil things happening: “you say, "What the Lord does is unjust" ”, and the prophet adds: “Is what I do unjust? Is it not what you do that is unjust?”. And we then understand: how on earth can a man judge the Lord, creator of heaven and earth? Can possibly a man be wiser than Him? Or better? Or more far-sighted? Is it not this very thought an ignorance that leads to great disobediences, and to ruin our own life? If you think you are just, but you are condemning God, not only you are ignorant, but also guilty and deserving a severe correction. On the contrary, whoever knows he is a sinner, if he starts obeying God, he receives a new life from Him!

These words coming from the prophet help Jesus to start today’s parable: two sons are asked the same service by their father, to work in the vineyard. The vineyard represents the people that needs to be reunited, purified and sanctified. The job will go in this direction then: cooperate in collecting men children of God, in making them desert the idols, so to say those vices considered an almost sacrosanct right or necessary to human life; and then cooperate in communicating to them the Word of God, that sanctifies them with its fullness of wisdom and Holy Spirit!

The two sons are asked of this job by their Father. Two sons: the disciples understand well that Jesus is identifying one of them with the Jewish people, that believes it is the beloved son, and the other, seen as reckless, with the pagans – to whom we can add the sinners. The Father calls both of them to cooperate with Him. The time of Jesus is unveiled as the time of this calling.

Which one of the two sons will be ready to offer his laboring to the Father? Are they both going to offer their services? This would be a really precious occasion for them to live in communion with one another and show their love for each other. Jesus gives an unexpected answer: that son from which the Father would expect a very quick answer, declares his availability right away but it is only talk. By deeds, he leaves the Father disappointed. The other son instead, the one from which we could expect a refusal, at first he supports his independency declaring that his Father’s work is not of interest for him, but then he is able to change his mind, he is humble enough for questioning himself and for offering himself in order to perform the task, leaving behind his plans and his own desires. He really loves the Father.

This is a parable, but it represents the reality really well. Jesus is ready to show the practicality of it: publicans and prostitutes, that is to say those who clearly live disregarding the commandments, are actually better than the most zealous religious people. The former, knowing that they are sinners, welcomed John the Baptist’s invitation to perform the penitential rite of the baptism in order to prepare themselves to believe in whom is coming after him, and then they are ready to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, as their savior, as the path to be followed, the truth to be known and the life to make room for.

Is it valid for us as well, this observation of Jesus’? In answering this, the second reading is of help. Is there in us the will of keeping an unity of spirit and charity with our brothers and sisters? Or instead do we let ourselves being carried away in knowing our rights, in avenging what has wronged us, in stopping talking to or being charitable towards those brothers who damaged us, even if we risk to divide the Church of God? We say we love Jesus, but then we cause Him to appear poorly, like he was a shepherd not even able to guide His sheep, like he was the head of a body in pieces, like he was not able to save the sinners.

Jesus stripped himself, renouncing his glory in order to love us: we are not able to let go of anything in order to love Him instead, we do not want to appear humble in front of our brothers. We know it, they are all sinners. We would like them to be saints and perfect without any effort coming from us, without a constant commitment on our part to be one body and one family with them, wouldn’t we? The apostle’s words are helping us to understand what is the job that the Father gives to His children. It is a hard job, but it gives a great peace and joy to whoever takes it on and to whoever is enjoying its fruits. “Nothing is to be done out of jealousy or vanity; instead, out of humility of mind everyone should give preference to others”. And again “Make your own the mind of Christ Jesus: Who (…) was humbler yet, even to accepting death”. All the work has to be done on ourselves, but it becomes precious and bears a lot of fruits for the kingdom of heaven, that has to be lived right here, on earth! It is a work that helps others to get closer to Jesus  and to be converted in order to be saved!

I want to work in your vineyard, oh Father: it will cost me effort to work alongside someone that does not love me, but – for love of you alone – here I am!