Sunday, 28 September 2008

Gospel 26th Week in Ordinary time

Last Thursday I had a first look at today's Gospel (Mt 21:28-32) during the Slovak prayer meeting here in St. Saviour's Priory, Dublin. The biggest part of this meeting is focused on Lectio Devina, looking at the Gospel of the coming Sunday.

At that time I was struck by the second son who after being ask to go to the vineyard replies "I go sir", but he didn't go. It struck me that he gives a very formal reply to his father, but doesn't mean it, which makes it very cold. It also reminded me about myself often saying wanting to do things, and sometimes promising things to do, but at the end don't do it, or even from the start didn't really want to do it or having no intention to do it. In contrast the first son was very different. He didn't want to go, and said that. He didn't give a formal, political anwser, but a straight one face to face. He however then felt bad about it and changed his mind, and ended up doing the will of the father.

Since then I have been looking more into the text and more conscious noticed the word "vineyard". This Sunday is in Ireland specifically dedicated for awareness of vocations, and the vineyard can be easily connected to the labourers the Lord calls to work in His vineyard.

With this thought on the passage we see that the Lord is calling His laborers to work in His vineyard, and now the reaction of the second son is even more striking. He says "I go, sir", but he doesn't! The word used in Greek is κυριε, which can mean sir in addresses, but is most often used for Lord (the Vulgate uses the word Domine), and so the Father who asks him to work is God.

At the end of the gospel the Lord tells the chief priest and elders that they did not belief and followed John the Baptist when he came in the way of righteous. The tax collectors and prostitutes changed their way but they did not want to change their ways to the righteous one, doing the will of the Lord.

I see this as an address to myself, being a student with the Dominicans. I often do say "Yes, Lord, I go Lord", but do I keep my promises? Do I really do it, and do I life the way of righteous, or are they just empty words, like we often see Jesus pointing out about the Pharisees.

"Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 7:21) and "Why do you call me `Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you?" (Lk 6:46) .

It is important that we don't lose sight of ourselves, as the Lord so often warns us. That we start pointing fingers at others, and don't life the righteous life ourselves. That we make promises to the Lord, but because it is not to a physical person we soon forget about those promisses. I am looking here particularly to myself@

Finally let us pray for vocations, on this day specially dedicated to it in Ireland!

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