26th Sunday Ordinary Time
October 1, 2017
“A man had two sons. He came to the first and said,
‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ He said in reply, ‘I will not,’
but afterwards changed his mind and went.”
The parable of the two sons has so much meaning for our lives! Who hasn’t encountered someone who tells us they will do something, but never actually completes the job? One son in the parable is like this: he says “Yes,” but actually doesn’t do what he is asked, while the other son says “No!” quite emphatically, but then changes his mind and is obedient. Personally, I am convinced that this dad had another child that wasn’t mentioned – the one who said “Yes” and then went right out and did it-maybe his daughter?
Notice that the Father gives each child a job – a task – a mission – TODAY -- not tomorrow. We have only TODAY in which to do God’s will. We are all now in the arena of life, the vineyard of the Lord, and God has actually given you a mission -- a task -- an assignment to fulfill. Not just a long-range vision—but concrete tasks to complete for him TODAY. Each day, we are faced with choices. Will I say “Yes” to God TODAY, at THIS MOMENT, in THIS ACTUAL SITUATION RIGHT NOW?
All of us have received an assignment from the Lord. You know, for years I worked in the airline industry and kept praying about a vocation to the priesthood or religious life where I could really “serve the Lord.” I really did not realize at the time that my “assignment” from God at THAT time was – not to be a priest – but to work for the Lord in precisely the situation I found myself in. In other words, our assignment from the Lord is to witness to him right now, here, TODAY, whether it is in my job, my extended family, my friends, church, my enemies, my struggles, my unemployment, my difficulties, my joys. All God asks is that we witness to him by doing little things well for him – the stuff of daily life.
These moments come up all the time: the car in front of you that has never heard of “right turn on red” (will I say “yes” or “no” to God by being patient or fuming?); I am at the store and receive too much in change (do I say “yes” and point out the error or “no” and keep it?). The list is endless.
“TODAY” in the bible also means ONE HUMAN LIFETIME. All the choices of my life will prepare me for the final “yes” or “no” to God that will sum up how I have lived my life. Fortunately, God is very, very patient with us! If we choose the wrong answer and say “no”, it is never too late to change our minds and say “yes” later. As long as we live, God will always take us back.