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The book of the prophet Ezekiel is not always used as a reading for the Mass. But today is one of those rare occasions when it is proclaimed during the liturgy.

Ezekiel gives us a special message today. We have heard many people recall their childhood and say, “When I was a boy, or when I was a girl, I used to go to Mass every day. I would serve at Mass. I was a member of the Legion of Mary. I would pray the rosary daily. But now I don’t do those things anymore.

I think I’ve done enough. I have paid my dues. And I hope that what I did in the past, God would consider as sufficient.”

We have heard many people make those kinds of excuses.

Looking back, we say that we have done many good things and then refer to these as sufficient credentials to be presented to God when we see Him face to face.

Ezekiel, in the first reading, says “stupid” to those kinds of ideas. He tells us, “What you have done in the past was God’s gift to you.”

The pain of the Lord is when a good man or woman becomes evil in his or her adult life. This hurts the Lord.

In the same way, the joy of the Lord is to have a virtuous man or woman in the end. The Lord would rather have a person be a sinner in his or her childhood, and then later on become a virtuous, holy person in adulthood. Because as far as the Lord is concerned, what is beautiful is what we do now.

The mistakes that we committed in the past, let us entrust to the mercy of God and let us ask God to own them. The good things we have done in the past, let us return to God and say, “Lord, thank you for making these possible.”

Let us remember that when God appeared to Moses at Mount Sinai, and Moses asked Him His name, God said, “My name is I am.” God did not say, “My name is I was.”

We cannot, and should not, boast about the good that we have done in the past because they would all amount to nothing unless our present is good. The best time of your life is now, and the best time to change is at this present moment.

For the mistakes of the past, let us say, “Lord, we are truly sorry.” For the good things we did in the past, let us thank God and let us promise Him that we will do even better—beginning today.

Ez 18:21-28

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