26th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A 26th / 27th September, 2020

A great deal has happened since last week’s gospel reading. Jesus is now in Jerusalem. He has entered the city (Matt. 21:1-11) and has taken possession of the temple driving out those who corrupt his Father’s house (Matt. 21:12-17). The crisis point of Jesus’ ministry has arrived and he will enter into conflict with the established religious authorities. The point of this text is that it is not the ‘conventionally’ religious’ – those who mouth all the right words and go through the rituals – who will enter the kingdom. Instead, it is the ones, who, by their actions, carry out God’s will and become the sons and daughters of God. John the Baptist, like Jesus himself, not only preached righteousness, he lived it. Jesus describes him as ‘a pattern of true righteousness’ (Matt. 21:32), and it was the broken people, the tax collectors, and prostitutes, who accepted what he had to bring. They believe in him repented and experienced a change of heart and life.