This week’s Gospel is a short story. Jesus simply says “A man had two sons; and he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he repented and went. And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?”
The first thought that comes through is that we should always follow-through on our word. Words are important, and we should keep them.
The second is that there is always the grace to turn-around and do the right thing. Even if we didn’t start of intending to do so.
According to a homilist, the first son represents the sinners of that time—tax collectors and prostitutes—who by their sin at first refused to serve in the Lord’s vineyard. At the preaching of John the Baptist, they repented and did what was right and just. The second son represents Israel’s leaders—who said they would serve God in the vineyard, but refused to believe John when he told them they must produce good fruits as evidence of their repentance.
And so we need to allow the grace of God to transform us to turn-around. No matter what we’ve done wrong in the eyes of God.