Gospel Reflections

26th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Matthew 21:28-32

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Kathleen Tracey

Published: September 28, 2014

It is amazing how often we find Jesus drawn to characters who have their minds well and truly made up, who are slow to believe. Sometimes we may wonder whether love such as His saw the hidden potential of a rebellious mind and knew there was possibility for a change of heart.

Today’s parable is a good example - two sons behaving very differently. The first says “No” then ‘thinks better of it’ and does what he’s told. The second says “Yes” and does nothing. This being a parable, we can be sure that working in the father’s vineyard refers to working in the kingdom of God. “It is the first who did the father’s will,” Jesus’ listeners remark.

These listeners are the chief priests and elders of the people and they would perfectly well understand Jesus’ final remark to them – “Tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you.” They would have understood that he was referring to themselves and their stubborn attitude – unable to change their minds and listen to John the Baptist who came preaching repentance and showing them the right way to live.

And what about us today?

We can see ourselves – people who can say “Yes” while looking for an easy way out because of our lack of courage or our aptitude for ‘doing nothing’. Obedience means action – to “do the will of the father” can often mean being sorry for, saying ‘No’, and working for the fulfilment of the kingdom rather than doing nothing at all.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could keep in mind that we have a God and Father who always sees our potential, who aches for us to have open hearts and minds and who waits for our return to His values?

Lord, let my love be not just words or mere talk, but something real and active.


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