The gospel presents us with the parable of the two sons. The two sons represent all human persons. In it, we find two attitudes displayed, namely, obedience, and disobedience to doing the Father’s will.
The first son said he wasn’t going to work but afterward he changed his mind and went. The second son said he would work but did not eventually work.
The Gospel asked the question; “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…” Which group of the two sons do we belong, the first or second son? Reflection…
However, the most important thing here is that the work was done eventually. Our actions must be in accordance with our words. If we say we believe in God, then our actions must reflect and show that we truly believe and act.
The first reading presents us with the people of Israel in exile. They were in exile because they failed to do the will of the Father. They had not been faithful to the covenant relationship with God. Like the second son in the Gospel, they had said they would keep God’s commandments but failed to do so.
In the reading, the person who finds salvation is the one who repents of his/her sin and lives a virtuous life, not the one who turns from a virtuous life to live a life of sin.
The second reading also presents us with a classic example of obedience in the person of Jesus Christ. He was obedient to the Father’s will to the extent that he died on the cross to save humankind.
The Lord, Jesus was rewarded for His obedience by being raised from the dead and given “A Name which is above every other names.” A reward of a Kingdom awaits us for our obedience to doing the Father’s will.
We are all in today's’ parable, no matter what our age or circumstances. At times we say, oh, yes, I will be very happy to do that in five minutes, or as soon as everything is over, or as soon as I get done with what I’m doing. At times, these things get done. But very often the doing doesn’t just get done.
Jesus explains to the chief priests and elders that this parable is addressed to all of them that they are saying, “Yes,” but not living by faith. They are like the second Son who said yes, but never went. Jesus made it clear to them in contrast, that tax collectors and prostitutes, whose “NO” is evident to everyone, are now changing their ways, that they are entering the kingdom of God before them.
Every day of our life, Jesus gives us a second chance to reflect, rededicate ourselves to him, make adjustment, and ponder and to make amendment of our ways. It’s like the prodigal son who repented and was received by his father. So we are before God. Our God is a gracious Father and a merciful God. He is open to everyone, irrespective of who we are as a person. He always and continues to show his love to everyone.
We have to be grateful and be glad that God took us from where we were before and brought us to where we are today to do his will. God brought you to church today. He is with us all the time. He save us the moment you believed and do his will.
Jesus tells us in John’s Gospel 4:34 “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” Truly, our food should be to do the will of God, the Father, by loving God and our neighbor. To be more committed to our Christian Faith. Let our actions always speak louder than our words. For the scripture says; by their fruit we shall know them. Let us be known by doing his will.
God is good…all the time…
God bless you.
Fr. Daniel E. Ogbeifun