Scripture Reflection, October 1, 2023, 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Ezekiel 18:25-28 Philippians 2:1-11 Matthew 21:28-32
Two words that begin with the letter “H” share the thematic spotlight in today’s readings.
The first is humility. We see it on display in Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. Paul describes the humility of Christ who “humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Paul implores his listeners, including all of us, to: “Have in you the same attitude that is also in Christ Jesus….”
Think about it. The one person who has ever lived on this earth who is fully human AND fully divine - the one person who has the most to be proud about - Jesus Christ - demonstrates the ultimate in humility. In the day-to-day, when I realize I am getting a little too cocky, a bit too uppity, too full of myself, I find it useful to recall that I am not God, not perfect, and that excessive pride cometh before the fall.
The absolute honesty of God takes center stage in both the first reading (Ezekiel) and in Matthew’s Gospel. In the first reading, the Lord says: “Is it my way that is unfair or rather, are not your ways unfair?” The truth of the matter is: God created us, the wonderful world we live in, all creatures, the planets and the stars. Moreover, God gave to us, God’s children, so many wonderful gifts - chief among them, the gifts of faith, hope and love.
God has asked us to use these gifts, along with our many god-given talents in order to help build God’s reign right here on earth. With all of that going for us, how can we honestly claim that the Lord is unfair to us. Jesus, delivering God’s message in the gospel, does not mince words. He is honest and forthright about the fate of those who witness God’s righteousness yet do not believe…do not accept the gift of faith, the message of hope and the promise of love.
Humility and honesty - these are two very powerful, very godly virtues. How will we be called upon to live them in the days to come?
by: Bill Miller