Theme: THE TRAGEDY OF THE SECOND SON!
By: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
Homily for Tuesday December 14 2021
*Zeph 3 : 1 – 13, Matt 21 : 28 – 32.
There has always been a curse following the disobedient from time immemorial. Today’s 1st reading declares: ‘Disaster to the rebellious city… She has not bowed to correction… Her prophets are braggarts, impostors, her priests have profaned what is holy and violated the law… In you I shall leave surviving only a humble and lowly people…’ Who are really the disobedient? Who are really the humble?
Jesus asks our opinion today on the concept of obedience and real humility. Is it the one that always answers: ‘Yes Sir! Yes Fr! or Yes My Lord!’ and later does his/her own will or the one that may manifest initial disobedience, doubt, defiance or rebellion only to have a deeper rethink subsequently. The human nature is such that some temperaments obey better after initial resistance /critical analysis. Such people when they are found in places like the Seminary would surely ‘die by fire’. But the sychophants often thrive better. They tell the authorities what they want to hear and tell themselves what they want to do.
According to David Diebel: ‘Integrity is being what you said you are and doing what you said you will do’. Jesus did not mince words in today’s gospel in spelling out the fate of such sychophants – ‘the tragedy of the second sons’ – ‘In truth I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you’. He said elsewhere: ‘Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Scribes and Pharisees you will never enter the kingdom of heaven’,Matt 5 : 20. That was a categorical imperative from Jesus Christ himself.
The second son represents those who promise and fail – those who are used to profession without performance. Watching the new ritual of ordination vows few years ago at the priestly ordination I attended at Enugu with all its legal niceties and canonical adumberations, I asked myself a little question: ‘Will this make these guys more faithful?’ I just hope it will, otherwise, more laughter for the devil. Charles Colton said: ‘If the devil ever laughs, it must be at hypocrites; they are the greatest dupes he has; they serve him better than any others, but receive no wages’. May we save ourselves from the tendencies of this second son – the tendency towards promise and fail.
May God bless you today!