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26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people:

"What is your opinion?" (Mt. 21:28-32)

What is your opinion? How would you react when after discussing with your son the importance of voting, he says he's decided that he will not vote? Indeed, I would be shocked! When reflecting on our ancestors and the thousand others who succumbed to violence to force our judicial system to legislate the Voting Rights Act in 1965, I anguished over how one decides not to vote. But wait, we are talking about a law enacted when many of our legal age young adults were either not born, or did not have Government 101 in their high school curriculum.

Does this matter? We could then be talking about some people who perceive that neither presidential candidate is deserving of being number 46. Perhaps not. More importantly, some declare that they don't care about Congress, Governors and state legislators, asking questions like, "Who are they? What purpose do they serve?" And yet, it is essential to re-educate our young and older adults to encourage them to change their minds. The young rapper, Yellopain, 24 years old, is like the son who doesn't care about voting. Fortunately, Yellopain's cousin Desiree Tims, who is currently running for Congress in Ohio's 10th District 2020 election, re-educated Yellopain's miseducation on voting's importance, he changed his mind. Yellopain put the lesson learned into a powerful video. See the video below; you will want to show this video to your loved ones.

What is your opinion? How would you respond when after telling your second son the importance of voting, he says yes to voting? I would leap for joy and say to myself, my son understands the power of the vote. Perhaps with more interested young people we will garner some new antiracist policies that will help dismantle the racism in this country. That would be my thoughts. Sadly, I would learn later that the second son missed the voting booth; he arrived late. The voting office closed. Unfortunately, though, not only was the voting booth closed, but the opportunity to speak one's voice vanished. This son lost his chance to tell the world where he stands about the inequalities in life. He can say nothing about the mass incarceration and the homeless children in the streets. His voice is silent on health care issues because he forfeited his right to vote through his tardiness.

Therefore, when we look at today's gospel, we realize Jesus asked a very pointed question, "Which of the two did his father's will?" The crowd said, "The First." At this point, Jesus talks about tax collectors and prostitutes entering the Kingdom of God. We are certainly not talking about that in the above reflection. However, we are talking about a way of righteousness that John the Baptist exhibited in his ministry. In Paul's letter to Timothy, Timothy is given a way of righteousness, "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way." (1 Tim. 2:1-2)

With the coming election, a way of righteousness is to pray for our candidates and elected officials. In our prayer we must ask God to lead us to vote. We need God's guidance to direct our candidates to act peacefully in their decision making to treat all of God's children with love and respect. Thus, the first son did the father's will because he re-educated himself and then voted for the best candidate to be peaceful and live in a dignified manner.

Author: Evangelist Michael P. Howard

The Three Branches of Our Government- The Game Changers:

The Executive Branch (Carries out Laws)

  • President, elected every four years.

  • Vice President and Cabinet

The Legislative Branch (Makes Laws)

The Judicial Branch (Evaluates Laws)

  • Supreme Court

  • Other Federal Courts

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