Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent
Memorial Feast: Saint John of the Cross (1542-+1591)—Patron Saint of Mystics and Contemplatives.
Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13, Psalm 34:2-3, 6-7, 17-19, 23, & Matthew 21:28-32
Today's Gospel narrative is a parable about two brothers whose father tells them to go to work in his vineyard. One son tells the father that he will but doesn't do it, while the first one tells his father that he will not go but ends up working all day. As a result of this information, Jesus asks the question, "Which of the two did his fathers' will?" The answer is obvious, it was the son who worked, though initially refusing to do so. Jesus then tells the religious leaders in His audience, "Tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom of God before you." Our Lord declares that the people who appear the least religious will enter God's kingdom ahead of religious leaders because they do God's will.
This parable reminds us that actions speak louder than words. Many organizations have mission statements declaring that their chief aims are customer service, product quality, civic integrity, putting their employees first, and so forth. However, many of these same organizations have poor service, quality, integrity, and employee relations. Individuals may do the same thing by extolling their plans yet failing to implement them. Organizations and individuals falling into this trap may have good intentions, and they may not recognize they are failing to live up to their rhetoric.
This parable teaches us that God wants us to be truthful about what we say we believe and how we act upon those beliefs. Unlike his brother, the first son does not lie and ends up helping. The other creates a false image of himself as someone who helps but lets his father down, which God tells us not to do.
Question of the Day: How will you put Jesus' Gospel message into action in your life plan?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I trust in You. Let me humbly and devoutly submit myself to Your holy will. Amen.