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Catholic Diocese of Umuahia


GOD IS NOT FAIR! A reflection for the 26th Sunday of the Ordinary Time, Year A.
By Fr. Modestus Mgbaramuko
Sun, 27 Sep 2020

Readings: Ezk 18:25-28; Phil 2:1-11; Mt 21:28-32).

  Today, we learn as individuals that living in freedom and dignity are not only about words. But making the free choice about what to think and do has yet another obligation as every freedom and every choice we make attracts responsibility.  It demands that we accept the consequence of the choice that we make. As a community or society, we have similar reciprocal obligations.

  Our actions to safeguard the breakdown of the civic order is not enough. Our inactions in defending against the corruption of the moral order of society are more devastating in their consequences. The ripple effects in the breakdown of the moral order of persons become evident in the crimes unleashed against the family and the larger society.  In giving this lesson, today’s first reading reminds us of Ezekiel’s generation. Those people felt that their national troubles did not have personal dimensions. They saw the humiliation of the exile and the hard life of being ruled by one’s foes. Then the people claimed that this was punishments of the sins committed by others  - their ancestors. Wrong!

   Today, we, too, are reminded as Ezekiel reminds Israel: The faults of the past may have contributed to the ills of today. But the moral life overlooked now is doing more damage to the public and collective image. Make no mistakes about this: No ancestor sins kept the Jews in exile for seventy years. The fault of your ancestors is not responsible for your indifference to God today, here or now. Shall we not learn our lessons, pick up our broken pieces, and go back to God as our Father? Please take notice of your actions and omissions today because it is what you do now, and today that is hurting you. Husbands blame wives as wives blame husbands, and the Children complain against their Parents. The parents blame the children. Students grumble against teachers, and everybody blames someone else. Weak Catholics blame “the Church,” and fault even the best among her leadership. If we are different, then let us work to end the blame games.

    The person of Jesus cuts through the maze of all blame games.  Let us face Jesus, who encounters us. His path is from divinity to humanity. His equality with God shines to us in sacred Scriptures, and his role from master to servant, exaltation to humiliation, stares on us from the cross. Now his glory, his name, and majesty confront the most in our indifference to God. Jesus is, therefore, asking us to end our false pride. Or the pretense by which we assume self-sufficient human goodness. Yet, no one is entirely enough for themselves. Only the counterfeit goodness excludes God. And none is excellent or perfect but God alone (Mk 10:18; Mt 5:48).

   Taking these things to heart helps us to answer Jesus as he invites us to end our hesitations to God’s plan for our lives. Jesus challenges us to listen and make the effort that the moral law requires. God is our Father, and the question is: who did, or is doing the Father’s will? Did we not all set out from a new beginning? Before we were baptized or received into the community of faith, the Church: was the question not put to us to do God’s will? Did you forget that either you answered it for yourself or certainly your parents or godparents answered it for you? They did it in good faith, hoping and praying that God keeps you to grow in God’s love. Who are those now lying to themselves and also lying to God? It sounds simple, but it will never go away:  Who did the Father’s will (Mt 21:31)?

   I do not dispute this point but agree with you. That you that now claim that God is unfair. I agree with you completely. Blame God, blame Dad and Mum, and shift the fault to all others. Put it to society: God is not fair, and life itself is unfair to you. And it is good that God is not fair - because God never treats us or repays us according to our faults. But thank goodness that God will never be “fair” in the foolhardiness of human wisdom. If God were that fair, we would all be in real deep trouble! Today’s psalmody aptly tells everyone what God really and truly is.

   God is rather Merciful! God is loving and faithful to his name. Give glory to your name O Lord, and continue to deal with us according to the bounty of your mercy!



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