September 25, 2011 – Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
One of the freedoms God has given us is the freedom to change our minds. The two sons in Jesus’ parable exercised that freedom when their father asked them to work in his vineyard one day. The first son refused, but then changed his mind and went. The second agreed to work but never showed up. In the same way, the sinners who responded to the preaching of St. John the Baptist obeyed God when those religious leaders who seemed to be holy refused to actually do so, and so the repentant sinners were the ones who entered the Kingdom of God.
We Christians know we should do the will of God the Father, but we tend to be fickle and not follow through on our intention to obey God’s will. We need God’s grace to be constant and to help us develop “the same attitude that is also in Christ Jesus,” as St. Paul wrote to the Philippians. As Christ gave up the glory of heaven to die on our behalf, so we have a challenge: “Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves.”
If we accept that challenge, and change our minds from serving ourselves first, it will inevitably change the way we use the time, the talent, and the treasure entrusted to us.