December 13, 2011

Defiance and Repentance

I love the gospel for today, the parable of the two sons from Matthew 21. Both sons are asked by their father to 'go out and work in the vineyard today.' The first son is defiant and refuses to go, but afterwards changes his mind and does. The second says that he will go but then doesn't.

When Jesus asks which son did the will of his father, of course it is the first.

Thus, it is the first son whom we are given to imitate in our relationship with our heavenly Father.

Therefore, it seems to me that the first spiritual step is to pray to know or to become aware of the ways we have defiantly refused the command of God, that we might think again, change our minds, and repentantly go out and do what we're told.

As God draws us ever deeper into the mystery of himself, we will find that these acts of defiance and refusal become ever more subtle and tricky. That's why our prayer for self-knowledge and willingness must become ever more fervent.

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