Prayer- O Jesus, give to me the grace of conversion.
Imagination:(Picture Jesus confronting his critics)
This is a parable of God’s mercy. Jesus is explaining the decisive moments of the Final Judgment. What a surprise! Publicans and prostitutes are entering. Why? Because they realized the need for conversion. They changed their “no” into a “yes”.
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 son 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 in 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 the Kingdom is preached, he changes. He takes advantage of God’s mercy.
- The second son represents people who say “yes” on the surface, thinking that they need no repentance.
- They reject God’s mercy. Their lives never change.
- The result is obvious. The sinners enter the Kingdom because they took advantage of forgiveness. Others are excluded because they saw no need to repent.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O God, your forgiveness is everywhere, like rain falling from the sky.
- Let me shout from the housetops, “I am a sinner.”
- O Jesus, every “No” that I have said can become a “Yes.”
- Lord, Your mercy changes me.
- O God, no sin that I have committed is greater than your power to forgive.
- 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 take a piece of paper and write down all my sins, so they become evident to me.
- I will confess these sins to a priest.
Thought for the day (To recall your meditation)
Which of the two did the Father’s will?