Gospel Reflection – “Which Son Did the Father’s Will? “
Converting both heart and will to do what is good and pleasing to God The “rebellious” son told his father to his face that he would not work for him. But afterwards he changed his mind and did what his father commanded him. The “good” son said he would work for his father, but didn’t follow through. He sought his own pleasure, contrary to his father’s will. Now who was really the good son? Both sons disobeyed their father – but one repented and then did what the father told him. Jesus makes his point clear – Good intentions are not enough. And promises don’t count unless they are performed.
Daily Quote from the Early Church Fathers: The Father and his two sons, author unknown, from the 5th century A.D.
“Who is this if not the God who created all people and loves them with a fatherly affection, the God who preferred to be loved as a father rather than feared as a lord, even though he was Lord by nature? On this account, at the beginning of the commandments of the law, he did not say, ‘You shall fear the Lord with all your heart’ but ‘you shall love the Lord with all your heart’ (Deuteronomy 6:5). To elicit love is not characteristic of a lord but of a father. Of the two sons in this parable, the older one represents the Gentiles, since they come from their father Noah. The younger son represents the Jews, who come from Abraham. ‘And approaching the first, he said, “Son, go and work today in my vineyard.” ‘Today’ refers to this present age. How did he speak to his sons? He didn’t address them face to face like man, but he spoke to the heart, like God. Man only utters words to the ear, but God supplies understanding to the mind.” (excerpt from an incomplete Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, HOMILY 40)
Text and reflections, courtesy and used with permission – http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org