Posted by: livingscripture | December 16, 2014

THIRD TUESDAY of ADVENT

From the Word of the Day

“A man had two sons.  He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’  The son said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he 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.”

(Matthew 21: 28-31: 2-17) 

How should we live this Wordvine and branches

Most of us begin by answering the Lord like the first of the two brothers in today’s parable.  When we are invited to work in the vineyard, we immediately respond ‘yes’, but then we do not go!  Our first response is apparently generous but as yet very superficial.  We are too sure of ourselves like the son.  He did not consider his limitations and had not yet experienced what the proverb says, ‘between saying and doing lays an ocean!’

This is why Jesus prefers the second son, the one who began with a ‘no’, the one who had then humbly entered the door of repentance.  Jesus prefers this one that said ‘no’, and then repented and went to work in the vineyard, perhaps secretly.  Repentance is not only finding a way that leads to God’s Kingdom, it is the only way.  There is no other.  We must all pass through the door of repentance, sooner or later; otherwise there will be no room for us in the Kingdom.

We want to save face at any cost, but one day unknown to us, in the moment in which our habitual generosity has left us, we will suddenly find ourselves in the arms of Mercy, with all our proud presumption taken from us.  Only then will we truly know how to give thanks and cry with joy before our Father!

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will probe my ‘yes’ to God.  Is it active and generous?

Which of the two sons do I identify with?  Hopefully, the second so that my ‘no’s’ may find repentance and bring me to humble service in the Lord’s vineyard. 

The voice of St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr 

It is better to keep quiet and be, rather than talk and not be.  It is beautiful to teach, if the one teaching, does.  In fact, there is only one teacher who ‘said’ and ‘it was done’.  What He did in silence, is worthy of the Father.  Those who truly possess the Word of Jesus can listen even to His silence to be perfect, so as to do what He says and be known for what is silent. 

 

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