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Doctrines & Morals

Openness and change of heart

Zeph. 3:1-2.9-13, Mt. 21:28-32. Today's first reading alludes to the deeper level of our existence, where we exist simply as God’s creatures. At this level we wait in hope for the advent of Christ, the Liberator and to rejoice when He arrives. The Prophet Zephaniah sees human dignity in “a people humble and lowly,” and reflects that humility attracts God’s tender compassion. Therefore, he sees great potential in the reduced remnant that survived the exile: “They shall do no wrong and speak no lies; Nor shall there be found in their mouths a deceitful tongue.” Jesus made it His special ministry to reconcile and not to disregard tax collectors and prostitutes, shamed people in the sight of official religious leaders.

Provocatively, Jesus told the parable about a man with two sons, one of whom was outwardly pious and always said and did the right thing. The comparison with the religious authorities was so clear that it need no,further elaboration. The other son was headstrong, disobedient and self-willed, the kind of character whose instinctive reply to authority is a quick “No” before taking time to think. He was like the tax collectors and the prostitutes whose lives were quite disorderly, at first sight. The Lord appreciates that same quality in us, the openness to a change of mind and heart for the better. When the Lord calls and we say no, He does not take that initial refusal as definitive, but is ready to wait on our change of mind and heart. The Lord gives us time to think better of our initial response to Him. Having moved from a no to a yes, He expects to us to be faithful to our yes. He looks to us to keep our word, to allow our promise to Him to shape what we do and how we live.

May the Lord be our guide and source of strength so that our Advent journey be fruitful and filled with our sincere love and devotion towards the Lord! Amen!! Keep safe and have a terrific day!!!

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