“‘Those who rest on their laurels’
means to be satisfied with one’s past success
and to consider further effort unnecessary.”
From the Online Source “The Phrase Finder”
In today’s first reading from Ezekiel 18:25-28 we hear that if a sinner changes their ways, they can be saved, but if those who are righteous fall into sin and are unrepentant, they will encounter perdition. In reference to this passage, “Sunday Homily Helps” from Franciscan Media states: “God takes into account the actions of each person. God does not make people prisoners to the past. If they choose to change their ways for the better, God is more than ready to forgive them. On the other hand, if people choose to ignore God and commit sin, God will hold them responsible for their choices, even if they were blameless in the past. The lesson here is that people must make the choice to be virtuous in the present.” Indeed, each day we are called to renew our commitment to serving and following the Lord.
Psalm 25 reminds us to seek the pathways of our God. In verses six and seven we hear: “Remember that your compassion, O Lord, and your love are from of old. The sins of my youth and my frailties remember not; in your kindness remember me, because of your goodness, O Lord.” I find it common for those who are older to experience remorse over sins committed in their youth that seem so out of character for how they are living their life of faith in the present. Sometimes they wonder if God has fully forgiven them. Psalm 25 reminds us of God’s great compassion and that any former sins are forgiven as long as we have a contrite spirit ready to seek conversion of heart. In today’s Gospel from Matthew 21:28-32, Jesus rewards actions over words when praising the son who said he would not help in his father’s vineyard but did show up over the son who said he would help but never did. May we live our faith one day at a time without being consumed by past regrets or complacent with past laurels.