Today’s Gospel speaks about two sons.
Both of them are far from perfect.
The first son seems like he is a train wreck waiting to happen.
He is disrespectful to his father and at first refuses to follow his request but eventually relents and does what he is asked.
The second son responds to his father respectfully and outwardly he seems like the good son but in the end he goes back on his word and never does what his father asked of him
The Son who eventually does what he is asked is judged righteous the who doesn’t is not.
The first son represents the tax collectors and prostitutes and sinners of Jesus’ time.
Yes, at first they seemed like train wrecks but the love and acceptance they felt from Jesus turned them around and won them over.
Everyone but thought they were lost causes but Jesus knew better and throughout the gospel he made a special effort to reach out to them….
When you read the gospels it becomes crystal clear that Jesus had a special place in his heart for the broken, for those who didn't fit in, or people who kept making mistakes. Let's review
Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
And Jesus said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick do. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
There are so many more passages which illustrate this same point.
The second son represents the religious leaders of Jesus’ time.
They were people who seemed to be living holy lives, but in reality are just giving God lip service.
The pharasies and scribes did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
They thought they were better than others.
They were not obedient to God’s call.
and They did not love, but they did put on a good show.
The parable teaches us three things:
The first is simply this we will not be judged by our intentions but rather by our actions.
In other words it’s not enough to simply say “yes” to God
For our yes to be real
For our yes to be salvific it must seen in the choices we make and the lives we live.
Our yes to God must permeate all that we say and all that we do.
Giving God lip service will not save us, even if our intentions are good even if we meant well.
The second lesson is simply this,
just like you can’t tell a book from it’s cover we simply cannot know the state of a person’s soul.
Only God knows the human heart.
Therefore our love must be shared equally with everyone,
Those who appear good and those who do not,
Those we are comfortable with and those we are not comfortable with,
We are called to love those who share our ideas and even those who do not.
We all know too well that sometimes people seem to live perfect lives and then we find out just how much they need our prayers and God’s mercy.
Other times we are quick to dismiss those who like the first son who don’t present themselves well, or not polished.
How many times do we look down on a person who just can’t seem to get their life together.
How many times have we refused to accept someone who made a mistake but wants to change.
The third lesson of the parable is this.
God is concerned about now, you might say he has a short memory
For God the past is the past.
If a person was a great sinner in the past but repents and turns their life around they will be welcomed home to God.
If a person was a great saint in the past but changed their ways and refused to hear God’s call they place their salvation in jeopardy.
Only our actions Count
Only God understands the human heart
God is concerned about now the past is the past.
Have a great day everyone.