Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 1, 2023
What’s your choice for a favorite Gospel parable? The Good Samaritan? The vineyard workers? The Prodigal Son? Hello, I’m Franciscan Father Greg Friedman with the Sunday Soundbite for the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Might I suggest a possibility for a favorite Gospel parable? It comes from the Gospel of Matthew—today’s parable from Jesus about two sons: Their father asks each of them to go and work in the family vineyard. One says no, but later changes his mind and complies. The other says yes, but doesn’t go out to the vineyard. Jesus’ conclusion: The first son–the one who thought better of his refusal and eventually went to work–that son truly carried out his father’s will. The point our Lord wants to make is clear: Those who sin can change. Sinners who repent are welcome in the Kingdom.
And that’s what makes this parable one of my favorites. I can’t begin to guess how many times I’ve said no to God–in small ways, mostly. I’ve done this through bad choices–neglecting obvious opportunities to do good. Instead, I’ve put my own ego and my own comfort ahead of God’s will. Fortunately, God leaves the door of the Kingdom open. Lots of times–through God’s help and through the challenge and patience of other Christians–I’ve been motivated to re-consider my decision. I hope that makes me like the first son–capable of changing my mind and reconsidering God’s will and God’s way. And I call that Good News!