Gospel Reflection Week 26 Ordinary Time – Cycle A – Matthew  21:28-32    

We think that we have a comprehensive understanding of what it is to enter the kingdom of God. In many ways, on a theoretical level, we do, as we have the Gospels as our guide, and the traditions of the Church to inspire us alongside all the saints.
We know from Jesus’s teaching what we must do to enter the kingdom of God. But why is it so difficult?
One reason is that it goes against much of our ingrained human responses. In an ages-old reality based on the survival of the fittest, we are asked to redact ourselves, to practice humility, to do what we are told.
This is not easy to do. Perhaps we can sometimes manage this redecation once or twice; in a misguided moment we pat ourselves on the back for our spiritual prowess, and in the next we are again falling away from our aims.
It is not easy to follow the ways of Jesus. We need only look at the disciples’ record. Today’s Gospel may as well be asked directly of us, not of the chief priests and elders. And he may as well ask us, not theoretically but directly, according to our own ways.
What, then of our own work in the vineyard? What makes us say ‘yes’ and then ‘no’? We can use Gospel analysis in all of our life, but it is better to use the Gospel message to open ourselves to truthful self-analysis, to imagine these questions, these teaching of Jesus, to be asked of us, as we are now.
In our response, we see the ways in which we may improve on our journey into God. But, to do so, we must be willing – unlike the chief priests and elders – to accept and to own our weakness. This issue is most probably at the very heart of our problems.
The Lord be with you
And with your spirit.
A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew  21:28-32
Glory to you, O Lord
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
‘What is your opinion?
A man had two sons. He went and said to the first,
“My boy, you go and work in the vineyard today”.
He answered, “I will not go”, but afterwards
thought better of it and went.
The man then went and said the same thing to the second who answered, “Certainly, sir”, but did not go. Which of the two did the father’s will?‘
‘The first‘ they said.
Jesus said to them,
‘I tell you solemnly, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you.
For John came to you, a pattern of true righteousness, but you did not believe him, and yet the tax collectors and prostitutes did.
Even after seeing that, you refused to think better of it and believe in him’.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.