Dec 15 2020 Reflection
Tuesday 15 December 2020
First Reading: ZEP 3:1-2, 9-13
The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
PS 34:2-3, 6-7, 17-18, 19 AND 23
Gospel Reading: MT 21:28-32
Today’s Note: Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
“What is your opinion?
A man had two sons.
He came to the first and said,
‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’
The son said in reply, ‘I will not,’
but afterwards he changed his mind and went.
The man came to the other son and gave the same order.
He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go.
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.
When John came to you in the way of righteousness,
you did not believe him;
but tax collectors and prostitutes did.
Yet even when you saw that,
you did not later change your minds and believe him.”
He changed his mind. (Matthew 21:29)
Do you think the religious leaders felt insulted when they heard this parable? They must have guessed that Jesus was comparing them to the second son in the story, the one who said yes to his father’s request to work in the vineyard but ended up not following through. Perhaps even more insulting was how Jesus seemed to be identifying the first son, who eventually did his father’s will: the tax collectors and prostitutes who had repented and believed. Of course they were offended!
Jesus was trying to drive home a point: these men needed a change of heart and mind. They had been resisting God’s will by rejecting John the Baptist, and now they were rejecting Jesus, God’s own Son, who had come to save them.
What Jesus wanted for the leaders in Jerusalem, he also wants for us. You may say, “I’m not like those Pharisees. I believe there’s a God and I try to go to Mass.” Praise God for that! But that’s just the beginning of the Christian life. There’s also the call to let God continually soften your heart so that you can follow him more closely.
Like the first son in the parable, we all need ongoing conversion—that “change of mind” that leads us back into the vineyard to love and serve the Lord. Working in the fields isn’t just a matter of completing one task or duty; it means having a servant’s heart and being open to whatever God asks of us. So to change our mind means making sure each day that we are not resisting God and his will but are trying to follow him, wherever he may lead.
So ask yourself, “How is God already doing this work in my life? In what ways am I saying yes to him, even if I initially resisted it?” Then thank him for the grace of helping you to grow and embrace his will, even if it sometimes feels like a burden.
But also spend some time looking for areas of resistance to God’s invitations. Are there small ways—or big ones—in which you still don’t trust his plan for your life? If so, ask the Holy Spirit for the grace of changing your mind.
“Thank you, Lord, for helping me obey you. Continue to change my heart this Advent.”