Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus,
One of the themes of today’s liturgy (26th Ordinary Sunday) is that of “Responsibility”. We should say that the word “Responsibility” in reality comes from the two words, “response” and “ability“. It means a capacity for replying to someone to whom a reply is due. For anyone with Faith, for anyone who believes that human being is God’s creature destined to live with him forever, responsibility means reference to God’s will for human being. And God’s will for us, humans, is that we live responsibly so that we may always live honestly well and in harmony with God and one another.
Prophet Ezekiel in the First Reading asks the people of Israel to take responsibility for their own lives and behaviour. God is not unjust, not a God of punishment and he surely wants all of us to be saved. However, this loving God makes it clear that to be saved, we all have to take responsibility for our lives. We must not blame God or, for that matter, anyone else for our sins. And therefore we must use the gift of freedom that God gives us to choose always what is right, just and holy.
We note the same theme, that of individual responsibility, echoing pretty clearly in today’s Gospel, too. It is illustrated succinctly and clearly in the parable of the two sons who are asked by their father to carry out a particular job/responsibility. Both sons disappoint their father, one by his refusal to work, the other by his empty promises. Yet, the rebellious son has a complete change of heart. Consequently he repents and carries out his father’s will.
Carrying out Christian responsibility is not always easy for us who are the disciples of Jesus. Being responsible for right actions before God, for instance, entails carrying a cross, undergoing suffering and accepting sacrifice. This is highlighted in the Second Reading of today. It reminds us that Christian responsibility is a service to others, a suffering service – just like what Jesus himself did in his whole life.
As we reflect on this important theme of the mystery of Christian responsibility, let us ask the Lord to give us the Grace to cultivate always a greater sense of Christian responsibility.
Have a wonderful weekend!