Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Sep 23, 2020 | Gospel Reflections


Sunday Reflection by Sister Anne Flanagan, SNDdeN

Today’s Gospel contains the Parable of the Two Sons-the “Yes” and “No” sons, as one writer described them. Jesus is speaking to the scribes and the elders. The tax collectors and prostitutes have said “no” to the call of the vineyard master. Yet, when they heard Jesus call, their choices became a strong “Yes” as they repented.
While, supposedly, the “elders and scribes” have said “Yes”. Perhaps, at first, they wanted to serve but became overwhelmed with power. Faced with the call of Jesus, they said “No”. Ultimately, our Actions do speak louder than our words.

As we read elsewhere in the Gospel, Jesus was always YES!
In a reflection on this Gospel, Fr. Larry Gillick, SJ, says: The “No” brother took his place in the vineyard with many of the early followers of Jesus. Peter protested his “no” but got up and followed Jesus. Jesus spent His life of redeeming people’s image of themselves. Their resurrection of spirit was their entrance into the vineyard and kingdom of God. The Pharisees just had a very hard time with this new of relationship with God and sometimes, we do too.”

As I write this reflection, many of us are preparing to celebrate anniversaries of our entrance into Notre Dame. Some 25, 50, 60, 65, 70 and even 75 years! Each of us, religious and lay, have made a baptismal commitment to follow Jesus. Some, also, have made a commitment by vows to God by Profession of Vows or to a spouse by marriage vows. We have said “Yes.”

It seems that our Gospel for today invites us to reflect, examine whether our “Yes” continues to mean “Yes”. Perhaps, at times our “Yes” has been reluctant, more like a “No”.

We pray then, for a renewal of our commitments to follow Jesus who is always “YES” in His love and mercy for us!


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 came to the first and said,
‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’
He said in reply, ‘I will not, ‘
but afterwards changed his mind and went.
The man came to the other son and gave the same order.
He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir, ‘but did not go.
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.
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.”

The Gospel of the Lord


Meet Sister Anne Flanagan, SNDdeN

In more than 60 years as a Sister of Notre Dame, Sr. Anne Flanagan has brought God’s Goodness to her students in parish elementary schools in Ohio. After receiving her MS in Math from St. Louis University, she continued her educational ministry for many years at her beloved Alma Mater, Notre Dame High School for Girls in Chicago, IL. Later, she received training in spiritual direction and retreat ministry. Along with her teaching, she worked part-time for about 30 years in retreat work and spiritual direction. Also, she served her sisters as Community Moderator at Mt. Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Ohio. Then, as Associate Director for the Notre Dame Mission Volunteers Program (NDMVA) in Cincinnati, she was inspired by the generosity of the members in their service. Presently, she is engaged in the awesome ministry of companioning others through spiritual direction/retreats.
Matthew 21: 28-32