10/1/2023 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reading: Matthew 21:28-32
Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people:
28 “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.’
29 He said in reply, ‘I will not, ‘ but afterwards changed his mind and went.
30 The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir, ‘but did not go.
31 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.
32 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.”
10/1/2023 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reflection: Matthew 21:28-32
The gospel reading above brings to mind the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15. There is a father who has two sons. One is rude but later repented. The other is nice at first but disobedient. Of course Jesus was speaking to the religious authorities at the temple who questioned His authority. They were the “second son” in the gospel above. They knew the law and they heard about John the Baptist but they did not repent. On the other hand, there were the prostitutes and tax collectors whom these religious leaders looked down as sinners. These lowly people who repented and followed Jesus were the “first son”.
Jesus wants us to reflect on how we relate to Him. Do we really follow Him? Are we the modern Pharisees who listen to the Word of God but we remain arrogant, unmerciful, and unrepentant? Are we like the tomb which is white outside but rotten and smelly inside (Matthew 23:27)?
The call is repentance – the message of John the Baptist. As we approach the season of Christmas, let us all cleanse our heart and mind of all that are not in accordance with the gospel so that Jesus may be born again in our life. Let us be like Jesus who said “yes” to His Father and came down to earth to save us. It is time for us to say “yes” and “go out and work in the vineyard today”. (Matthew 21:28)