Reading 1 EZ 18:25-28
Thus says the LORD:
You say, “The LORD’s way is not fair!”
Hear now, house of Israel:
Is it My way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?
When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies,
it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.
But if he turns from the wickedness he has committed,
and does what is right and just,
he shall preserve his life;
since he has turned away from all the sins that he has committed,
he shall surely live, he shall not die.
We constantly think that because God’s way might not be our way that it means it’s unfair. Instead of fixing our lives to please God, we may turn away from Him. We are like the rich young man that does not want to give up his luxuries to follow Jesus. When we sin, part of us dies because we are moving away from God. We become spiritually dead, but if we do follow Him, we grow and become so alive. We bloom and develop into what God wants. This is the true way of life – stay with God, and joy will ensue. Christ awakens our soul and something inside of us sparks.
Reading 2 PHIL 2:1-11
Brothers and sisters:
If there is any encouragement in Christ,
any solace in love,
any participation in the Spirit,
any compassion and mercy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love,
united in heart, thinking one thing.
Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory;
rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,
each looking out not for his own interests,
but also for those of others.
Have in you the same attitude
that is also in Christ Jesus,
Who, though He was in the Form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, He emptied Himself,
taking the Form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
He humbled Himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted Him
and bestowed on Him the Name
which is above every name,
that at the Name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in Heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Being a believer is a community affair. We all come together under one Name and are united in His Love. We should have the same goals and think the same to achieve these goals. We should think of others before ourselves and work to achieve the mission of spreading God’s Message.
Jesus is God but came down to earth to serve. He became human to be one of us and humbled Himself even to death. How crazy is that?! The King of Kings stepped down from His throne. How often are we full of pride, thinking we are equal to God in how we sin or disobey Him? We continue to try to please ourselves, and our motives can often be very selfish. We think we have enough money, status, power, etc that we don’t need God. We need to confess that Jesus is our Lord and be humbled by this fact. We cannot live this life on our own.
We always must revere the Name of Jesus. It is so often taken in vain, which is so sad. His Name is the Name that saves and keeps us safe. We pray to His Name and should take it so seriously. We should bow when It is spoken of. When we hear a name, we automatically think of the person we know with that name, and all our emotions for them come flooding. It should be the same with Jesus because His Name represents everything we live for and hope for.
Gospel MT 21:28-32
Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people:
“What is your opinion?
A man had two sons.
He came to the first and said,
‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’
He said in reply, ‘I will not,’
but afterwards changed his mind and went.
The man came to the other son and gave the same order.
He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir, ‘but did not go.
Which of the two did his father’s will?”
They answered, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you,
tax collectors and prostitutes
are entering the Kingdom of God before you.
When John came to you in the way of righteousness,
you did not believe him;
but tax collectors and prostitutes did.
Yet even when you saw that,
you did not later change your minds and believe him.”
Our actions are more important than our words. The son that followed the father’s will was the one who originally said no but changed his mind and did the work. It is better to do what we are asked than act like or say we will and then not follow through. That seems hypocritical and fake. We cannot just do God’s will on the outside or seemingly do God’s will, but we must say yes with our words and actions. Seek His will in all things and repeatedly say, “Thy will be done….Thy will be done.” Spend time with Him to see where He wants you and what He wants you to be doing. Prayer is the key.