Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time - A - October 1, 2023

Real Change

Why do people have a change of heart? How do people change their lives? An entire cottage industry of self-help books focus on those two questions. Yet, all that literature comes down to two ingredients: an invitation and a commitment. Some invites change, the invited commits to change. In terms of faith, God always invites, but we hesitate, put off, or ignore the commitment to believe. When will we say "Yes" to real change?

Sunday Studies

FIRST READING The prophet Ezekiel railed against the presumptive spirit of the people. These "good" people felt they were being treated unfairly, even as they judged sinner. Yet, as the prophet proclaimed, it was the people who were unfair, unfair in their pride and unfair in their judgment. God only cared for repentance, not self-righteousness.

PSALM Psalm 25 was a hymn of supplication, but it also extolled the virtue of faithfulness.

SECOND READING St. Paul wrote to the church in Philippia about the need for humility. Christians are to follow the Lord and do as he did. As he emptied himself and suffered, so must we be willing to do for the good of others and the glory of God.

GOSPEL Matthew presented a short parable about the choice of two sons. One refused his father's request, then relented. The other agreed to his father's request and did nothing. The point of the parable was not the moral character of the sons but their obedience to the father. Their choice was a question of doing the will of the Father and their place in his Kingdom.

Other Resources

DAILY READINGS for the Twenty Fifth Week in Ordinary Time.


CHILDREN'S READINGS In the poem with the first reading, we ask what would happen if no one said "I'm sorry." In the story for the gospel, Eddie and his brother were playing at a family picnic. Eddie told his parents he would help them clean up, but kept playing until it was time to leave. His brother got in trouble for refusing to help, but then relented. How did Eddie feel about this situation? How was this like the parable of the two sons in Matthew's gospel?

CATECHISM LINK In this week's Catechism Link, we consider the place of God the Father in our lives, and how he continually calls us back to him.

FAMILY ACTIVITY Discuss the parable of the two sons with your family members. How do people change to help themselves feel better? Why do people lie and try to shift blame?