Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

good-is-merciful

A phrase that parents have heard from time to time when reprimanding their children is, “that’s not fair”.

We also hear this from the prophet Ezekiel in the First Reading from the Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time. The prophet states that the people complain that God is not fair when, in fact, it is the Israelites who are unfair: “Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair?” It is easy to blame God at times even though we are the guilty party. We often create our own problems.

In the Second Reading, St. Paul states, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interest of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” We can do great harm to ourselves and others because of our sinful pride and selfishness. This is why we need conversion.

In the Gospel, Jesus offers hope to those who are sinners, “I truly tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you.” We do not lose hope because we believe what the Collect of the Mass states, “O God, who manifest your almighty power above all by pardoning and showing mercy”.

God is kind and merciful to those who are poor and humble of heart. This is the Good News that reminds us that God is never “unfair”.