MAKE ME KNOW YOUR WAYS O LORD (PS.25:4)
Through his Parables, Jesus not only explains truths, but also exposes the heart. The parable of the Two Sons (Mt. 21:28-32) is a series of 3 parables that Christ speaks of one after the other in the Gospel of Matthew. The vineyard is Israel (Remember Matthew writes primarily for a Jewish audience).
Jesus has just overthrown the money tables in the Temple, the religious leaders are mad with fury, thereby questioning his authority. In response Jesus tells this exposing parable. Speaking to the chief priests and the elders, he speaks of the two sons and their two responses – one before and one “afterwards”. We find here, two very different afterwards: one afterward is good, and one afterward is bad. One says “Yes” but does not do it; the other says “No” but does it, revealing a change of heart. Jesus provokes the elders of Israel to think – which of the responses befits their attitude towards God?
Although this parable is primarily about Israel and her relationship with God, it applies to each of us today. Be careful that you don’t just have an outward form of righteousness. With every Yes, we are born again. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21; "Not everyone who says to me, ’Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”
As Christians we too make our promises, not just as the time of our sacraments, but every day, in our every encounter with life. Think about the last time you promised the Lord something. Did you fulfill that promise? Or, did you postpone the fulfillment of the promise to another, more convenient time…maybe never!
The question that we need to ask ourselves as individuals and as a community is that “Do we walk our talk?” Is our “afterwards” good? Think about it. What does this parable reveal about you?