Jesus warns men t0 repent and be obedient to the Almighty Father to be received into Heaven in the Parable of the Two Sons. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Counsel from the Holy Spirit so he can more perfectly do the Almighty Father’s Holy Will and by pursuing the Virtue of Prudence so he can recognize his sins and quickly repent when he fails to do God’s Will.
3rd Week in Advent – Tuesday – Mt 21:28-32; 26th Week in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Cycle A – Mt 21:28-32
Following Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem during Holy Week and His cleansing of the Temple, the Jewish leaders challenge Jesus, seeking to accuse and kill Him. Jesus, undeterred, aggressively responds, using His infinitely superior wisdom to publicly rebuke His accusers and teach truth.
The Parable of the Two Sons is both a teaching about the need for obedience to God, and a warning about the need for repentance. Men (the sons) are created by God (the father) but tainted by Original Sin (both sons sin). Some men (the first son) rebel against God (“I will not go”), and His will (to work in the vineyard), but come to their senses and repent (the first son does go to the vineyard). Other men (the second son), have the false appearance of obedience (“I go, sir”), but fail to do God’s will (to work in the vineyard).
The Jewish leaders correctly choose the first son (who goes to the vineyard) as the one who does the father’s will, unwittingly damning their own behavior which is like the second son; they claim to follow God but reject God’s messenger, John the Baptist. Jesus, reinforcing the sombre reality of His condemnation using “truly”, reveals some of the worst sinners (tax collectors, harlots), who repented at John the Baptist’s urging, will go into the Kingdom of God before the Jewish leaders, while the Jewish leaders who failed to repent despite witnessing the miraculous conversions of hardened sinners from John the Baptist’s preaching, will follow, or, if they do not repent, will be excluded from Heaven.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be awed by Jesus, as He effortlessly exposes and denounces the sinful Jewish leadership: despite His impending violent seizure and murder, Jesus Courageously (a part of Fortitude) confronts the Jewish elites; Divine Prudence, Jesus assesses and shrewdly crafts a short parable to trap and expose the sinfulness of the chief priests and scribes, among the most intelligent of men; perfection of Justice and Divine Judge, Jesus Harshly Condemns the evil of the Jewish leaders by revealing that repentant tax-collectors and prostitutes would be received into Heaven before them, a grave and provocative Insult.
Receive the Spirit to help do the Father’s Will
Realize: Jesus, throughout His life, perfectly did the will of God the Father, demonstrating to every Catholic man that it is necessary to be obedient to God’s will if he hopes to enter Heaven, a truth Jesus emphasizes in today’s parable.
Believe: Reflect upon the need to do the Will of the Father (CCC 541, 2013, 2603, 2611, 2620, 2712, 2750, 2824).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Counsel so that when I face difficult or confusing decisions, my heart and mind will be opened up, and I will be clearly directed by You to know how to perfectly and joyfully do the Father’s Will.
Quickly repent when you fail to do God’s Will
Realize: Every Catholic man is at times like the second son, who says, “yes” to the will of God the Father, but does not do it; every Catholic man needs to be like the first son who examines his conscience, repents and does the will of the Father.
Believe: Reflect upon the need for Repentance (CCC 541, 674, 1425-1433, 1889, 1226).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Prudence, help me grow in the Virtue of Prudence so I have a daily habit of saying, “yes” to God by using my reason to rigorously examine my thoughts, words and behaviors, identify my sins, repent and regularly receive the joy of being forgiven in the Sacrament of Penance.