Jesus went on to say, “What do you think of this?
“A man had two sons. He went to the first and said to him ‘Son, go and work today in my vineyard.’ And the son answered ‘I don’t want to.’ But later he thought better of it and went. Then the father went to his other son and said the same thing to him. And the son replied, ‘I will go, Sir,’ but he did not go.
“Which of the two did what the father wanted?”
They answered, “The first.”
And Jesus said to them “Truly, I say to you the publicans and the prostitutes are ahead of you on the way to the kingdom of heaven. For John came, to show you the way of goodness, and you did not believe him; but the publicans and the prostitutes did. You were witnesses of this but you neither repented nor believed him.”
How do we know that God has sent us an invitation? How do we know the will of God for us? The parable in our gospel reading reveals to us the different attitudes of people in responding to the invitation of God.
Though an invitation is neither compulsory nor to be answered by involuntarily, it needs a response.
When Jesus asked the chief priests and the elders about their opinion on this parable, they answered back. In the story, one son said “no” when he was asked by his father to work in his vineyard but but he went anyway while the other one said “yes” but did not fulfill his commitment.
In the gospel reading, Jesus asked who fulfilled the will of the Father and his audience answered that it was the son who said “no” but went to the vineyard. Then, Jesus told them that those who do not believe and follow the will of the Father will not enter heaven. Who followed the will of the father in our story? The will of God the Father is for us to be truly his children. He is always there for us for his love and mercy is without end. The Lord would always invite us to stay with Him for we are his own.
For John had already preached the right way to holiness but they ignored him and never changed their lives and ways. It is better for the sinners—the tax collectors and the prostitutes for they believed and had changed their lives. They do what is the will of God for them—to have changed lives in the Lord.
In our society, sometimes we ignore and refuse to hear the message of God to us. We resist to heed God’s message or to ignore God at all. And when we are troubled and not in a good situation, we seek God. When was the last time we said “yes” to God but did not follow Him? We make promises and think that we can appease God. For all we know, we have become “little gods.” We play god and create idols in our lives. The Lord has one word and he honors it. How about us? Do we really mean it when we say “yes” to God’s will?
How do we live out our promise to God and to one another—as married couples, as priests or consecrated persons, or as single lay missionaries? Do we keep up and live up to our promises to do what He wants us to do? Do we have discerning hearts so we can listen carefully to the message of God to us today? The Lord is speaking to us every day of our lives; in the messages and events that unfold before us, and many people we meet and encounter every moment of our living.
Have there been many occasion when we said yes to God but did not fulfill what we have promised? Were we sorry for that? And when was the time that we said “no” to God and yet realized that we are wrong and did his will instead? The feeling is different when we do the right thing. Even if we have no formal knowledge in ethics and morals, we know what is right and correct from what is wrong and not correct.
It is always good to do the will of God. It is always better to respond positively to the challenges of life even if they may be difficult to face or carry, after all, working in the Lord’s vineyard is a joyful step and act to do. Let us thank the Lord for always inviting us to be with Him.
Let us pray, reflect and ask ourselves:
Do I say “yes” to the invitation of God to be his worker and work in the building of His kingdom?
Am I happy doing God’ will?
Do I please the Lord in everything I do?
Am I involved in any program or activity in our parish ministry?
Almighty and Ever- living God, may we do you will faithfully and joyfully. We know that we have to empty ourselves so you can fill us with all love. May we be discerning to your Spirit so that we can be guided, inspired and enlightened by you in the Holy Spirit. This we ask through Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Let us remember in our prayers those who are seeking for truth and justice that the Lord may show them his saving mercy and loving grace in the people they meet in their daily lives. Also, those people whom we had promised to pray for, may the Lord listen to their prayers and grant their intentions.