Prayer- O Jesus, give to me the grace of conversion.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus confronting his critics)
This is a parable of God’s mercy which explains the decisive moments of the Final Judgment. What a surprise! Publicans and prostitutes enter Jesus’ Kingdom. Why? Because they realized the need for conversion. They changed their “no” into a “yes”. The Jerusalem leaders, however, change their “yes” into a “no”.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
When Jesus was questioned about his authority, he told a parable. “What do you think? A certain man had two sons. Coming to the first, he said, “Son, work today in my vineyard.” He replied, “I will not go.” Afterwards, he was moved to repentance and went. Going to the second in a similar way, he asked the same question. He said, “I will go”. However, he did not go. Which of the two did the Father’s will?
They said, “The first”. Jesus replied, “I say to you that the publicans and prostitutes shall go first into the kingdom. When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him. However, the publicans and prostitutes did. When you saw them repent, you did not repent and believe him.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- The first son represents a sinner who sees his own disobedience and feels guilty.
- When repentance is preached, he changes his “No” to a “Yes”.
- He takes advantage of God’s mercy.
- The second son represents people who think they have no sins.
- They fool themselves and feel no need for repentance.
- They reject the favor of forgiveness. Their superficial yes becomes an unchangeable “No”.
- The result is obvious. The sinners enter the Kingdom because they took advantage of forgiveness. Others are excluded because they see no need to change their lives.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- God, your forgiveness is everywhere, like rain falling from the sky.
- O Jesus, I shout from the housetops, “I am a sinner.”
- O God, I will change every “No” that I have said into a “Yes.”
- By your mercy, my second state will be much better than my first.
- O Jesus, your power to forgive is far greater than my power to sin.
- O God, why should I hide my sins from myself when they are so evident to you?
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will write down all my sins (so they become evident to me) and I will confess these sins to a priest.
- I will trust totally in God’s mercy.
Thought for the day (To recall your meditation)
Publicans and prostitutes shall go first into the Kingdom.