Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people: “What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ He said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards changed his mind and went. The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did his father’s will?” They answered, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him.”
Introductory Prayer: In you, Lord, I find all my joy and happiness. How could I offend you by chasing after fleeting success and lifeless trophies? I believe in you because you are truth itself. I hope in you because you are faithful to your promises. I love you because you have loved me first. I am a sinner; nevertheless, you have given me so many blessings. I humbly thank you.
Petition: Lord, help me to follow you, regardless of circumstances and times.
- A Higher Authority: Jesus is in Jerusalem, exchanging words with the Pharisees. They have tried to trap our Lord by asking him from where he gets his authority. Our Lord, in his wit, turns it back to them. He asks them a question that brings them to accuse themselves of lacking fidelity to God. Jesus is looking for faith. Faith is the attitude that searches for an authority in life higher than one’s own. When God calls us to live his will, we should in faith accept it and live it. Even if it seems inconvenient or uncomfortable to us, we should not look for ways to live outside it. It is very important that we bypass inauthentic outlooks on life.
- Christ’s Mentality: If we are to understand this Gospel passage, we must make an effort to rid ourselves of the “modern mentality.” In the modern mentality, we do whatever we please as long as we don’t step on anyone else’s toes. Jesus proposes a different mentality. He suggests that we not only listen to, but also do the will of God in our lives. Neither son in this parable was perfectly in tune with Christ’s suggestion, but at least one of the sons came to his senses and repented of his stubbornness of heart.
- An Apparent Defeat: Many of us reading through this scene would congratulate Jesus for putting down his enemies and winning the debate. We would toss confetti at the Lord for his wisdom and knowledge in getting out of this predicament. This, though, wasn’t the case. Jesus felt it as a loss. He did not care about appearing better than the others. He left this encounter saddened because he truly desired that the Pharisees believe him and accept his saving message. We ought not to try to shine over our foes. Instead, we should work hard to help them see the light.
Conversation with Christ: With even a little of your charity, I could certainly be a son of two “yeses.” Help me to say “yes” when you ask me something and also to do it immediately—without hesitating for even a moment. Lord, may your will be done!
Resolution: This week, when the alarm goes off early to start my day, I will make an effort to be diligent and punctual for love of God’s will.
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