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HOMILY FOR THE TWENTY-SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A.
HOMILY THEME: DOING GOD’S WILL.
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
In the day’s Gospel Jesus tells the parable of the two sons who were asked to work in the vineyard. The first declined initially but later changed his mind and went to work. The other said yes but did not go to work. The choice between the two as to who followed the father’s will is easy. The first did the father’s will. The parable is another way of stressing the importance of repentance. Jesus clarified the message of the parable in the end. Tax collectors and prostitutes who repented will enter the Kingdom ahead of others who still did not change their ways after seeing John’s teaching on righteousness.
Again some of us may cry, “Foul!” God’s seeming unfairness was tackled in the first reading from the prophet Ezekiel. Is it God’s way that is unfair or our way? God through the prophet Ezekiel said that our turning away from living the virtues which lead us to damnation. In the same process, our repentance will lead us to salvation. God provides the salvation but it is our decision which will make us worthy or unworthy. God will welcome us to His Kingdom when we make ourselves worthy. He cannot stop us if we turn away from virtues and embrace wicked ways. Mere lip service is not enough. Saying “yes” to faith, to God’s will is a good beginning. But it must be put into action. What we do, accomplish, and commit ourselves to, are what determine our life before the Lord. Of course, God will not be happy if we decline Him. But God does not see it as a final response. He waits for our action. Most specifically , He waits for our witnessing and repentance.
Many exegetes say that the parable actually involves a third son. It avers that there are other choices in life. We are not only limited to a “yes” then “no” or “no” and “yes” options. The third son is none other than Jesus, the Son of God. He exemplifies the good son or the model son. He said “yes” and “yes.” He obeyed His Father, the first “yes”, to be the Savior. Then He became one with us, suffered and died, the second “yes.” As we had mentioned last Sunday, adopting the way of sinfulness in the beginning then repenting later is too risky and deprive us of a life of grace. It is never good to be away from the Lord. But if we do lost our way, hopefully, we will have the courage to find our way back to God in time. But, why risk? Why miss God’s presence?