A change of heart. A change of heart – this is what this Sunday’s Gospel is challenging us to have!

Let us listen to Jesus’ words: – “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.[1]

The gospel readings of these last Sundays of Ordinary time reflect the tense atmosphere of Jesus’ ministry in Jerusalem. He has come to the final confrontation between the “chief priests and elders” and himself and all he stands for. It is literally “a mortal combat” (sequence of Easter Sunday) since it will lead to his death, but he himself remains non-violent.”

Jesus confronts the chief priests and elders by saying “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.”[2]

This parable was primarily intended to show up the hypocrisy of the chief priests and elders of the Jews, and the perilous position in which they stood in relation to God and heaven. It is, however, a warning against hypocrisy for all time.[3]

Maybe we can identify with the second son and say “yes” to God’s will and then quickly forget or even decide that we will not do His will.

We may have said in the past “I will not go and work in your vineyard” in the past, but there is still time to have a change of heart!

Sr. Rosaleen Shaw OP

 

[1] Mt.21:28-32

[2] Mt. 21:31-32

[3] https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2020-09-27