Which of the two did the father’s will?
Jesus’ simple story of the two sons takes the Gospel out of the realm of the “theoretical” and places the mercy of God right in the middle of our busy, complicated everyday lives. Compassion, forgiveness and mercy are only words until our actions give full expression to those values in our relationships with others; our simply calling ourselves disciples of Jesus mean nothing until our lives express that identity in the values and beliefs we uphold. The words of the Gospel must be lived; Jesus’ teachings on justice, reconciliation and love must be the light that guides us, the path we walk, the prayer we work to make a reality. Discipleship begins within our hearts, where we realize Christ’s presence in our lives and in the lives of others and then honouring that presence in real and meaningful acts of compassion and charity.
Gospel Matthew 21:28-32
Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people, ‘What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He went and said to the first, “My boy, you go and work in the vineyard today.” He answered, “I will not go,” but afterwards thought better of it and went. The man then went and said the same thing to the second who answered, “Certainly, sir,” but did not go. Which of the two did the father’s will?’ ‘The first’ they said. Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you, a pattern of true righteousness, but you did not believe him, and yet the tax collectors and prostitutes did. Even after seeing that, you refused to think better of it and believe in him.’