September 27, 2020 – 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Discovering love for the Lord and being willing to go beyond difficulties, in order to strengthen our relationship with the Lord and obeying His Will always!”

(Based on Ezek 18: 25-28, Phil 2:1-11 and Mt 21: 28-32 – 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

A man who was engaged, took his fiancé for dinner on her birthday.

When they sat down, he laid an elaborate box on the table – her birthday gift.

All the while they were eating dinner, she just kept thinking about this box – because it was a big box – and she wanted to know what was inside.

She could hardly eat.

The waiting to open the gift was disturbing her…
… but her boyfriend told her to open the gift, after dinner.

All she could think about was what was in the box. Finally, when dinner was over, she asked:
“Can I open the box now?”

“Yeah, you can!”

She opened the box…
… and pulled out a pillow.

“Oh, wow, I mean, this is a nice pillow…
… but it’s a pillow.”

She turned the pillow over, thinking that something was taped to the back.

There was nothing.

“Well, thank you!”

It was obvious she was disappointed that she got a pillow.

Her boyfriend, however, got up, took the pillow from her…
… and laid the pillow on the floor.

He got down on one knee, took her by the hand, and said, “Will you love me for life?”

The girl now totally gave up the pillow!

The pillow was no longer so important for her
Instead.. the one who gave her the pillow, now became much more important!

Love for a person trifles every peripheral need and discomforts!

When you discover love for a person, you begin to go beyond difficulties…
… and seek to strengthen your relationship with the person.

The Gospel of the Day is a beautiful story of “willingness to make suitable changes, and giving importance to the person, in order to display one’s love…
… rather than being restricted with peripheral and external promises, without sincerity!”

The Gospel presents to us…
… the story of a son who – though initially seemed reluctant – but finally would overcome difficulties, and follow the words of his father
… and contrasted by his brother who fails to keep up his word!

The passage begins with the first son being asked by the father: “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.” (Mt 21:28)

And the son replying initially in the negative; but later repenting: “And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he repented and went” (Mt 21:29)

This is contrasted by the other son – who was given the same order – and replied in the positive initially, but later would retract from his words

“And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go.” (Mt 21:30)

These two sons could represent our own attitudes to the Divine Will:

  1. Failure to understand initially but later repenting and doing what God wants
  2. An initial fervour to do all what God wants, but failure to sustain in this pursuit

The first son may have had his own reasons to refuse the will of his father initially…

… he was lazy
… he had some other commitments
… he did not give much importance to his father’s words
… he was too proud and least bothered about what other’s wanted including his father

The reasons could be anything

But the parable tells, that he had a realization…
… and that would make him do what his father wanted!

The Gospel explains this with a phrase: “… but afterward, he repented.”

Maybe, we too need to have this “Repenting Experience” in our lives in order to follow the Will of our Heavenly Father

In instances, when we feel lazy in life…
… “to repent” and to push ourselves with the Graces offered by God

In times, when we have other commitments other than the Kingdom of God…
… “to repent” and to bring back our first priority to do what God wants in our life

In situations, when we don’t give much importance to the ways of God…
… “to repent” and to remain docile and open to the Power and Providence of God in life

In moments, when our pride overwhelms us, and we become too cosy and careless…
… “to repent” and to bow down before the Awesome and Majestic Presence of God

God reminds us through Prophet Ezekiel that all those who turn away from sin, will surely be blessed…
“Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is lawful and right, he shall save his life.

Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die!” (Ezek 18:27-28)

It is possible that sometimes we get so occupied with the trifles and peripherals of life…
… that we fail to understand that “growing in relationship with our Lord” is the most important task of our life!

We tend to get more attracted to the “big box that allures us” …
… than to spend time with the Lord…understand His Mind deeper and to love Him more!

The Lord today invites us through this parable of the two sons, to become people…
… who not only pledge our words but our life also to Him!
… who not only make an external profession but commit with an inner passion for the Kingdom!

Yes, let us understand that “Love for a person trifles every peripheral need and discomforts!”

When you discover love for a person, you begin to go beyond difficulties and seek to strengthen your relationship with the person.

When we love the Lord, we also ought to be willing to make suitable changes, and give importance to His Will…
… rather than being restricted with peripheral and external promises, without sincerity!

The Lord, Who loves all of us immensely, displayed His tremendous affection for us by lowering Himself and becoming a Man – like us – and giving His Life for love of us:
“… though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God, a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

And being found in human form, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a Cross!” (Phil 2:6-8)

The Lord, Who humbled Himself – as a boy kneeling on a pillow, desiring for love – asks us the question:
“Will you love me for life?”

What is our answer?

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Those who wish to straighten a young tree,
not only to bring it to the direction in which they wish it to grow…

… but even bend it somewhat beyond, so that it will not return to its former direction!”

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