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The parable of the two sons

Gospel Reading: Mt 21:28-32
Jesus said to the chief priests and the 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 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. 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.”

That is what the first son does after he realizes his mistake of saying “No” to his father. How can he refuse if he wants to please his father? After all, everybody is expected to work. He is not a little boy anymore; this is a good opportunity to prove himself a man. Jesus commends this first son who represents the so-called sinners, the tax collectors and prostitutes. At first, they say no to God because of their questionable jobs, but later they repent and report for work at the Lord’s vineyard. The younger son says “Yes” to his father at his convenience, but does not report for work. He is not sincere and does not have the intention of keeping his word. Jesus does not commend this son who represents the self-righteous Pharisees and scribes. In the parable, Jesus calls for their conversion. Jesus teaches us to respond generously to God. We must always say yes to God. We should not pretend we are already doing God’s will. In the Lord’s vineyard are the poor, the victims of hatred and violence and social discrimination, as well as people in the highly secularized world. They are not locked up in our churches. The secular world is the Lord’s vineyard. We should evangelize it.

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Can you say yes to the Lord by evangelizing your little world that is also part of God’s vineyard?

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SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.