As I mentioned in my reflection last week, Jesus used parables to make us ask questions of ourselves and this week is no different. This week we are being challenged to think about how we live out our Faith. In fact, if you read the text again you can see the direct challenge to the chief priests and elders.
They were prominent people; well known throughout their towns, looked up to by their community. They were all about telling others what to do and being seen in the prominent places within the temple. In Jesus’ time they went around picking fault in everything he did. Their jealousy, based upon their fear of losing their place, meant that they were like the second son in the parable. They told everyone to prepare for the coming of the Messiah, but when Jesus came, they refused to recognise Him.
On the other hand Jesus is saying the tax collectors and the prostitutes were like the 1st son, their initial behaviours were to show repugnance and revolt to the established faith as they lived out their sinful lives, but once they heard the message of John the Baptist to repent and experienced the love of Jesus, they were prompted into action and changed their ways.
So, today’s parable has me asking – am I more like the first son or the second? Do I promise much and fail to deliver? Do I offer initial hostility to requests and then think better of it? How do I put my Faith into action?
The truth is that we can all be like both sons at times. We can all feel like the first son and reject requests to help and then think better of it. We can also be like the second son say ‘yes’ but then be tempted to do otherwise. Here we have the example of Jesus himself to strengthen us: he knelt down and prayed. “Father, if you will, take this cup away from me. Not my will, however, but your will be done”. (Luke 22:41, 42). These words spoken by Jesus on the eve of His Passion, show the true humanity of Jesus as He contemplated what was about to happen.
That same time period is brought to our minds in the poem which is used in the second half of our second reading today. A poem which we associate with the Passion and Resurrection of Christ. A poem which unites heaven, earth and the underworld in how we should all react at the very name of Jesus.
These are difficult times, many people are worried about their jobs, many people have already lost their jobs, many young people have never managed to secure a job. If you are in any of these groups of people, please pray that God will provide for you. If you find yourself with time on your hands, ask yourself, what can you do to make the best use of your time? How can you help to build up God’s kingdom?
How can you make God’s church a church of action here in our Parish?
Please keep in your prayers this week
- Chimkasi and Zofia who were baptised on Saturday 26th.
- All those seeking employment.
- Members of the St Vincent de Paul Society.
- The Parishioners of St Michael’s in Tadley as they celebrate their Patronal Feast this Tuesday.
Deacon Tony Darroch, 26th September 2020.
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