Have you ever heard someone say, "Why did God do this?" What does the reading from Ezekiel tell us that God might answer? What choice do we have? Will you look at your life to see what God is asking of you?
We can either turn our lives toward God or away from God. The choice is ours to make. We must choose between a life of virtue or a life of sin. And God, in turn, will judge each one according to his or her choice. Some people complained to Ezekiel the prophet that this was not fair of God. But God turned the tables on them by saying that they were the ones who were unfair in trying to get out of their responsibility.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2
Paul writes that the Philippians can make his joy complete. How? He says they have given him encouragement. How? What virtues does he mention that could make our attitudes more Christ-like? Who encourages you? How?
The second reading is taken from what has been called Paul's letter of joy. He is writing to the Christians of Philippi, whom he dearly loves. To be one in Christ with his friends is Paul's great desire. What joy they will experience if they put on the attitude of Christ toward others and if they put aside all selfishness!
How does your parish respond to the Lord's call to work in his vineyard? What care does the vineyard need today?
Discussion Questions for Gospel
Have you ever said, "yes" to someone and then not done what you agreed to do? Did you ever say "no" to someone who asked you (like a parent or teacher) but then regretted it and changed your mind? Jesus is making it clear that sinners who repent are entering the kingdom before the priests and elders who did not repent and believe. What do you think of this?
Jesus tells a parable to a group of religious leaders. He wants them to figure out which one of the sons did his father's will. Was it the one who said yes but never showed up? Or was it the one who said no but later repented and carried out the father's wishes. Sometimes people can deceive us by smooth talk. But God is never deceived. Like Jesus, our lives can be a "yes" to God the Father in word and deed.