December 13, 2016
Memorial of Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr
The Gospel Today
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.”
REFLECTION (Sem. Edgar R. Calma)
One of the important human qualities that we are looking for a mature person is integrity. This means that there is no duplicity in his or her words and actions. Others would like to use this maxim: “Say what you mean and mean what you say.” or big words like, “walk the talk, role modelling and witnessing.” I believe these expressions will all boil down to authentic, integral and wholistic personality that we are searching for within us.
In the Gospel for today, Jesus is calling us to be true to ourselves. It is an on-going invitation for us to continuously challenge ourselves to be always consistent and congruent with what we say and do — with our words and deeds. Jesus said; “Which of the two did his father’s will? They answered, the first (referring to the son who said I will not, but afterwards changed his mind and went to the vineyard)…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.” (Mt. 21:31-32)
We all have our own share of inconsistencies by not being true to what we say and what we do. Some people would call it, “lip service”. It means nice to hear, big words, pleasing to the ear but lack in deeds. On the other hand, the extreme is not also good. Too much focus on the actions or tasks is dangerous in any relationship or endeavor in life. In our pursuit to follow and imitate our Lord Jesus Christ, there is the greater invitation to conversion from inside out. This means changing our attitude and internal disposition towards the Gospel values that will eventually be manifested and seamlessly demonstrated in our choices and decisions in life. Christ’s invitation to be always merciful is not only during the Year of Mercy that ended last November 20, 2016. It is a lifetime process of becoming merciful like Christ, not only in words but more importantly in deeds.