Words alone cease to mean anything when they are not put into practice and similarly, promises may prove to be empty when they fail to bear fruit. I can easily relate to many times when I have promised to pray for someone, but immersed with the cares of my own, simply forgot to do so or times when I have consoled a friend in a crisis with a lot of reassuring words, that I myself failed to rely later on in the same situation. It is my inability to be faithful, my forgetfulness and my preoccupation.
We see a similar situation unravel in today’s Gospel proclamation. We see two sons responding to their father’s request in different but with equal disrespect. They must have hurt the father a great deal with their senseless words and actions. The parable is in one way an eye opener to those of us who have said ‘yes’ to Abba Father’s call, to follow Him, be his disciples and live a life pleasing in His sight. It is also an invitation for those of us who are hesitating to accept His ways and going in our own paths.
Our Lord is directing the same question that He asked the chief priests and elders that day, towards us today, ‘Which of you do my Father’s will?’ Can we honestly say that we have done our part in fulfilling that call? Even if we have failed, the good news is that we can turn back, change our ways and walk His path once again, just like the first son. For it is the promise we hold on as we wait in joyful anticipation for His coming, a promise of the kingdom of God to the least of His children, who believe in His saving mercies, even after failing miserably. We have the assurance of a loving Father, who is patient in all His ways and waiting for our return.
Just like a little child caught doing something bad, we may throw tantrums, we may feel guilty, we may feel ashamed but there is no reason to stay sulking any longer, for as Zephaniah says in the first reading, our Lord is waiting to purify our lips and allow us to serve Him forever. When that day comes, we would not have to cover our faces in shame for neither preoccupation, nor selfishness, nor even the cares of this world will keep us away from fulfilling our Father’s will.
Prayer: Abba Father grant that I may speak the words that I am not afraid to put into action, for the glory of Your Holy name. Amen