Reflections from the scripture readings for the 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time, found at http://usccb.org/bible/readings/092814.cfm
This reading from the gospel of St. Matthew, chapter 21:28-32, always reminds me of the challenge of raising children. Kids say and do things that drive us crazy! We ask them to do something, then they say no. Then they do it anyway. Or they say yes, and then don't do it! As a father of two children (now grown, thank God!), I can feel the frustration of the father in this parable of Jesus. We tell our kids to do their homework, then they respond, "no", only to think it over and do it anyway! Or they say yes, and end up not doing it. It is then that they realize (after getting in trouble with the teacher) that they find out that their parents were right all along!
It's the same with us and our relationship with God. The chief priests and elders are represented in this story as the ones saying "Yes" and not doing what God is commanding them to do! Outwardly they look like they are doing the Will of God, but inwardly they are filled with hate for those people who are considered the outcasts of society. They hate the tax collectors and prostitutes! The chief priests and elders are failing to show love and compassion to their neighbors!
The tax collectors and prostitutes are the ones that originally were telling "no" to God by how they lived their lives. They rejected God in their lives, only to later find that it is with God that they can find peace and happiness! They heard the preaching of John the Baptist, and went for repentance. They further heard the preaching of the Love of God from the mouth of Jesus. They turn their "no" to "yes"!
This parable applies to us today, too. There are times when we say "yes" to God, but then we see someone who is homeless and we judge him/her! Or we see an immigrant struggling to make a better live. Then we judge them and reject them. In so doing, we say "no" to God.
Then there are times when we say "no" to God when we hear of all these "rules and regulations" in the Church that are meant to help us come closer to God. We initially say no, but after some thought, we realize it's for the best, and we say "yes" to God.
Pray that we can always be "Yes" people in both words and actions towards God and those who need us!
Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!
Deacon Tom Tortorella is a guest blogger on FatherRosado.com. He is a permanent Deacon for the Archdiocese of New York and is currently assigned to St. Clare of Assisi Church in the Bronx, NY. He was ordained by His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan on June 19th, 2010.
Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition© 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.