September 27, 2020

In the divine plan, no one is excluded: the good, the bad, and the not so good. No one is written off. Saul got a second chance when he became Paul. Peter was appointed to lead the church even after having denied the master. Mary Magdalene, tax collectors, like Zacchaeus, and even ‘the good thief’ got his salvation while being crucified alongside Christ. All of them got second chances. Perhaps the classic manifestation of the immensity of God’s mercy is the story of the return of the prodigal son. Yet, one common denominator is that all these people took steps or made an effort to grab the superabundant grace of God that was made available to them. All of these is to say that every saint has a past every sinner has a future. Jesus’s parable in the gospel tells about a son who returns to do the father’s will having had a change of heart; which indeed is in line with the Greek word for repentance: metanoia – change of heart or change in ones ways. Prophet Ezekiel reminds us that if a virtuous man forsakes his righteous ways and turns to evil he shall die. But when a sinner abandons evil ways and turns to God he shall live. Or as he says is the preceding verses “As I live, says the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, rather let him turn from his evil ways and live” -Ezekiel 18:20. We all have a place in God’s house if we can turn to do His will. And so Saint Paul enjoins us in that beautiful passage in today’s second reading to stay away from vainglory, from pride, from selfishness and self-exultation which causes us to think that we are better than everyone else. On the contrary he reminds us: ‘If there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any solace in love, any participation in the spirit, any compassion or any mercy, pursue them.” In these virtues and more we must invest all our energies for the salvation of our souls. But since we cannot do anything except by His grace, we must pray with the psalmist that God may guide us to a life of justice and teach us His ways, Amen

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