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26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
26th  Sunday -A Mass Readings
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26th Sunday -A Mass Readings

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Reflections by Fr Cielo Almazan OFM

Reflections by Fr Cielo Almazan OFM

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  • 1. Welcome to our Bible Study 26 th Sunday in Ordinary Time A September 26, 2011 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy In aid of focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
  • 2. 1 st Reading: Ezekiel 18,25-28
    • 25 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? 26 When a virtuous man turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies, it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die. 27 But if a wicked man, turning from the wickedness he has committed, does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; 28 since he has turned away from all the sins which he committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
    The focus in on God’s way .
  • 3. 1 st Reading: Ezekiel 18,25-28
    • The Lord’s way
    • 25 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?
    • Man’s way
    • 26 When a virtuous man turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies, it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.
    • Man’s conversion
    • 27 But if a wicked man, turning from the wickedness he has committed, does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life;
    • Life
    • 28 since he has turned away from all the sins which he committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
    A simple outline!
  • 4. 1 st Reading: Ezekiel 18,25-28
    • The Lord’s way
    • 25 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?
    • Man’s way
    • 26 When a virtuous man turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies, it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.
    • Man’s conversion
    • 27 But if a wicked man, turning from the wickedness he has committed, does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life;
    • Life
    • 28 since he has turned away from all the sins which he committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
    • Commentary
    • In v.25, God is accused of being unfair in his way .
    • Answer: It is man’s way that is unfair. Put in direct manner, it is your way that is unfair.
    • Vv.26-28 talks about “turning away” and its consequences
      • From virtue to iniquity = death
      • From wickedness to right and just = life
      • From all sins = life, not death
  • 5. Reflections on the 1 st reading
    • Our destiny depends on our “turning away.”
    • If we turn away from evil ( metanoia ), we have life. (God’s way)
    • If we turn away from good (sin), we die. (man’s way)
    • We must adopt God’s way.
    • Do you know God’s way?
    • Seek the sacred scriptures and the teachings of the Church!
  • 6. Resp. Ps 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14.
    • R. (6a) Remember your mercies, O Lord.
    • 4 Your ways, O LORD, make known to me; teach me your paths, 5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior.
    • 8 Remember that your compassion, O LORD, and your love are from of old. 9 The sins of my youth and my frailties remember not; in your kindness remember me, because of your goodness, O LORD.
    • 10 Good and upright is the LORD; thus he shows sinners the way. 14 He guides the humble to justice, and teaches the humble his way.
  • 7. Resp. Ps 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14.
    • R. (6a) Remember your mercies, O Lord.
    • 4 Your ways, O LORD, make known to me; teach me your paths, 5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior.
    • 8 Remember that your compassion, O LORD, and your love are from of old. 9 The sins of my youth and my frailties remember not; in your kindness remember me, because of your goodness, O LORD.
    • 10 Good and upright is the LORD; thus he shows sinners the way. 14 He guides the humble to justice, and teaches the humble his way.
    • Commentary
    • In vv.4-5, the psalmist prays for guidance (God’s ways, paths, and truth)
    • In vv.8-9, the psalmist uses the word “remember” 3 times.
      • Remember your compassion and love
      • Remember not my sins
      • Remember me in your kindnes
    • Vv.10 and 14 affirm God as a good guide.
  • 8. Reflections on the Psalm
    • Like the Psalmist, we must pray for God’s guidance.
    • God guides us to walk in his way.
    • Like the Psalmist, we should pray for God’s compassion, to forgive our infractions.
    • In our lives, we pray for two things: guidance and forgiveness.
  • 9. 2 nd Reading: Philippians 2,1-11
    • Part I
    • 1 If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing. 3 Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, 4 each looking out not for his own interests, but (also) everyone for those of others. 5 Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus,
    • Part II
    • 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. 7 Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, 8 he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. 9 Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
    A simple outline!
  • 10. 2 nd Reading: Philippians 2,1-11
    • Part I
    • 1 If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing. 3 Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, 4 each looking out not for his own interests, but (also) everyone for those of others. 5 Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus,
    • In v.2, Paul expresses his challenge to the Philippians, to complete his joy, in this manner:
      • By having same mind (one vision, common vision)
      • By having same love (the love of Christ)
      • By being united in heart (living in fraternity, fraternal love, in community)
      • By thinking one thing (focused)
    • In v.3, Paul gives two imperatives:
      • 1 ) To be pure in motivations
      • 2) Not to put down others (do not put yourself in a pedestal)
    • Vv.4-5 continues Paul’s imperatives
      • 3) not to be selfish
      • 4) to look for the interest of others
      • 5) to have the same attitude (affection for one another) in Christ
  • 11. 2 nd Reading: Philippians 2,1-11
    • Part Two
    • 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. 7 Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, 8 he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.
    • 9 Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
    • Part Two describes Christ’s divinity and humanity, God’s way.
    • V.6 begins with Christ’s category as God, but not taking advantage of his divine nature.
    • V.7 indicates Christ’s coming down to become human.
    • V.8 indicates two sublime qualities of Christ: humble and obedient. They make incarnation possible.
    • In v.9, God reverses the fate of Jesus on two counts:
      • God exalted him
      • God bestowed on him the name…
    • In v.10 the great name of Jesus exacts reverence and holy fear and also acknowledgment of his Lordship. V.11
  • 12. We can classify Paul’s thoughts:
    • God’s way :
    • same mind, same love, united in heart, thinking one thing, regard others as more important; found in Christ
    • God’s way in Christ : emptied himself, took form of slave, become human being (incarnation), humbled himself, obedient, to death on a cross.
    • God’s way to Christ: exalted him, bestowed name, which make everyone bend and tongue confess
    • Man’s way:
    • Selfish motives, vainglory, seeking own interests
    • Minds can’t meet.
    • Hearts are divided.
    • One tries to outdo the other.
    • Self-importance
    • Appropriation
    • Domination
    • Pride
    • Autonomy
  • 13. Reflections on the second reading
    • Jesus is the model of total selflessness expressed in humility and total obedience to God.
    • If we want to join him in heaven, we must empty ourselves of pride, unbridled freedom, etc.
    • We must practice kenosis (emptying).
    • It is the peak of Christian discipleship.
    • Can you talk less about yourself, your accomplishments, etc., and talk more about Christ?
  • 14. Gospel: Matthew 21,28-32
    • 28 "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.' 29 He said in reply, 'I will not,' but afterwards he changed his mind and went. 30 The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, 'Yes, sir,' but did not go.
    • 31 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. 32 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 .
    The focus is on conversion .
  • 15. Gospel: Matthew 21,28-32
    • Question 1
    • 28 "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.' 29 He said in reply, 'I will not,' but afterwards he changed his mind and went. 30 The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, 'Yes, sir,' but did not go.
    • Question 2
    • 31 Which of the two did his father's will?"
    • Correct answer
    • They answered, "The first."
    • The meaning of his question
    • Jesus said to them, "Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. 32 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 .
    A simple outline!
  • 16. Gospel: Matthew 21,28-32
    • 28 "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.' 29 He said in reply, 'I will not,' but afterwards he changed his mind and went. 30 The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, 'Yes, sir,' but did not go.
    • 31 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. 32 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 .
    • Commentary
    • The Parable of the Two Sons begins with a question. V.28
    • Jesus tries to get his disciples’ attention and to judge for themselves regarding the issue.
    • Vv.28a-30 can be summarized in this way:
    • 1 st Son (From No to yes = did God’s will)
      • The first son represents the sinners, tax collectors and prostitutes.
    • 2 nd son (From Yes to No = did not do God’s will)
      • The second son represents the chief priests and the elders of Israel (v.23.)
  • 17. Gospel: Matthew 21,28-32
    • 28 "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.' 29 He said in reply, 'I will not,' but afterwards he changed his mind and went. 30 The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, 'Yes, sir,' but did not go.
    • 31 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. 32 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 .
    • V.31 affirms who does the will of God: the first son.
    • In v.31b, Jesus informs his enemies that those they consider sinners are entering the kingdom of heaven ahead of them.
    • V.32 gives the explanation.
    • They lost their opportunity to be saved, when they did not believe in the baptism of John.
    • They were not even moved by the conversion of sinners. V.32b.
    • In other words, they are callous.
    • They did not interpret correctly.
  • 18. Reflections on the gospel reading
    • In the eyes of God, we are all sinners.
    • We must go back to him.
    • Even if we have been active in the church for so long, we still need conversion.
    • We cannot sit back and imagine we have been doing the right things all the time.
    • We must learn how to discern the best way to follow Christ in our context here and now.
    • Our practices and theology might be correct but could be irrelevant (does not bring to conversion and fullness of life).
  • 19. Tying the three readings and the Psalm
    • The first reading talks about adopting God’s ways, abandoning man’s ways. ( conversion )
    • The psalm is a prayer for guidance and forgiveness.
    • The second reading talks about being selfless. ( being converted )
    • The gospel reading talks about conversion (change of mind)
  • 20. How to develop your homily/sharing
    • God calls us to true conversion .
    • We may be involved in religious activities but we are not converted at all.
    • We may still be living in sin.
    • We may be just there in the church projecting ourselves as good, but actually gratifying our desire for recognition, like the chief priests and Pharisees, enjoying our positions without doing anything for the church.
  • 21.
    • The gospel teaches us that conversion has something to do with change of mind .
    • It is a total overhaul of a belief system (from old to new) brought about through baptism.
    • One cannot follow Christ without the initial conversion in baptism.
    • Baptism of repentance spells our ability to follow Jesus.
    • There is no Christian discipleship without repentance .
  • 22.
    • The first reading is emphatic on changing one’s ways, turning away from wickedness.
    • It is not right to accuse God of injustice.
    • We should realize that we are the ones who are unjust.
    • It is foolishness to turn from good to bad. It is courting death.
    • The movement must be from bad to good.
    • God passionately desires our conversion .
  • 23.
    • The second reading gives us tips for conversion .
    • It is a total obedience to God.
    • We must follow God’s ways.
    • We must have good personal relationships, not putting ourselves on top of others.
    • We must empty ourselves of all kinds of garbage (bloated ego).
  • 24.
    • Instead, we should imitate Jesus who voluntarily and humbly emptied himself of all his privileges, prestige, power and wealth as God.
    • If we want to be put in a pedestal, we should first undergo the way of the cross and die.
    • God himself will do it for us. That is more honorable and respectable.
  • 25.
    • Our involvement in the church can be a tricky business.
    • We may volunteer as servant leaders, but deep inside we long to be recognized. We bring our personal agenda.
    • Unconsciously, we may be using the liturgy, our position, our influence and the facilities of the church for our own ends.
    • That’s why, there is always a need to examine our motivations.
    • We are helped much by attending ongoing formations.
    • Ongoing formations trigger realizations and conversions .
  • 26.
    • The eucharist is the sacrament of love and devotion to others.
    • It is a symbol of selflessness on the part of God, also a symbol of self-giving of Jesus.
    • The eucharist is for those who adopt God’s way and abandon man’s way.
    • The eucharist assures us of the future glory to come.
  • 27. Our Context of Sin and Grace
    • Church workers/leaders who appropriate places of honor in the church
    • People who throw their weight upon others.
    • Servant leaders who are more conscious of their positions and years of service
    • Ministers who spend more time chatting than helping
    • Selfless, humble servants who are there when needed
    • Ministers who are fraternal and accommodating
    • Ministers who quietly endure insults and pains.
    • Ministers who are focused in their work, who do their homework well, who report for duty.
    The End
  • 28. Suggested Songs
    • Lord, I Lift Up My Soul
      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4alK0eWGCA
    • Time To Change
    • Let’s Begin a New Life

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