St Paul said in the Second Reading: whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. For those who claim to believe in Jesus as the Christ, there is an expectation that their actions should be consistent with their faith. We cannot say we are followers of Christ and turn around and do what is contrary to what he teaches.
This is what the First Reading shows. God gave Judah everything it needed. And yet, Judah and Jerusalem rejected him. This rejection of God will result in its own destruction because rejection of God results in rejecting also his protection. I cannot expect God to help me when I reject him. Jesus echos this in the Gospel today where he gives a parable of the landowner who took care of a vineyard and leased it to tenants who turn around and abused the slaves of the landowner and later, killed the landowner’s son. Jesus asks: when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will be do to those tenants? The chief priests and elders of the people answered: he will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.
There is justice for our actions and when we reject God’s call, there will be consequences. Many think God is merciful so he will answer always when we beg him even if they continue to reject him. This attitude makes God their slave rather than God. God is God and he is Creator of all things. Everything belongs to him, including our lives. And if we act as if God owes us something, that he should do what we tell him, we will soon find out, things do not work this way.
There are consequences to our actions and if we do not repent, we will be held accountable for it. Answering God’s call and coming to him in repentance is a decision we need to make for ourselves. And if this is our desire, St Paul reminds us in the Second Reading: Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. When we desire to do God’s will, we pray and ask God for the grace to do it. St Paul tells us when we do, God’s peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. God never fails those who call on him in humility. He provides for our needs when we seek to do his will.
Lord, I have failed you and have sinned. Yet Lord, I turn back to you, begging for your mercy. Forgive my sins and lead me back to you. I want to live a holy life. Guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus, that I may always seek and do your will.