For we members of the Catholic Parish in Riccarton, on this first Sunday of October, we have at least two reasons for rejoicing: Fr Rick, Vicar General, will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on to many of our young people at the 10 am Mass and this is also the day we celebrate our dear Parish patron saint as a Solemnity: St Thérèse of the Child Jesus.
First, let us say a few words about the central message of today’s readings since the Word of God spoken and preached should help us to grow in a desire to be more holy i.e. to obey our Lord in everything, with love.Actually, don’t you think that instead of only saying that Sunday is a day of obligation under the penalty ofSin – which is still true of course – we could say that it is particularly the day of adoration with love for all of us, baptised in the Lord?
In Matthew 21:28-32, Jesus corrects and teaches the leaders of the Jews about what it truly means to do the Father’s will. In this parable, the first son refuses to obey his Father’s will but afterwards changes his mind. The second son seems to obey at first but then does not carry out his Father’s will. Thus, are we more often like the one who seems to say “no” to God but finally does it? Or do we often say “yes” but rarely do it? Children too can also easily answer this question since they should be very familiar with the experience of saying “yes” to their parents without doing what they are asked to do…
We can say “Amen” with our lips when the priest gives us the Sacrament of Communion with Christ and then a few minutes after Mass forget about it and say “no” to Christ by starting an argument with someone.
Today’s Gospel is both a word of hope and of admonition. Jesus gives much hope to sinners who really want to stop offending God and their neighbour. But Jesus also admonishes those who think they are righteous like the proud Pharisees.
Finally, I invite all of you to participate in our unique parish multicultural festival in the hall at 1.00pm today. Let us not go to our church just to satisfy our Sunday obligation, but let us encounter one another with love.