Thursday of the Third Week of Advent
O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.
Today we have the tale of two sons. Both are commanded by the Father to go and work in the vineyard. The first says he won't, the other says he will. But guess what, the one who refuses relents and does what the Father asked him to do. Yet the one who originally said he would go, in fact doesn't. Jesus asks the chief priests and the elders of the people to tell him which of the two sons did the will of the Father...of course the answer is the one who vocally refused but relented and did it.
Jesus uses the story to illustrate why harlots and tax collectors who repented at the preaching of John the Baptist are headed to the pearly gates, while the "religious" likely are headed in the other direction.
I don't think it is a matter of us standing back and separating the repentant harlots and the ireligious religious but rather a good moment to hold up the mirror and ask ourselves are we do the will of the Father?
When I tell my son (who is all of 20 months old) already he rattles off a resounding "no." I'm not even sure he knows what "no" means but he hears it enough throughout the day as he opens drawers, climbs up bookcases, writes on walls to know that it must be our favorite word. I also think he likes it because it is easy to say. He struggles with "yes" so that if often sounds like "yesh."
When it comes to God sadly most of us are still like a 20 month old. We see God as interfering with our play time. If only we could learn that what God wants for us is what is best for us. Perhaps the harlots, tax collectors know that from there straying better than the religous who only dally in sin.
Whatever the case ultimately we all must respond to God, our Father not with the "no" that can seem so fashionable at times but with the difficult to say "yes."
Michael Dubruiel wrote a book to help people deepen their experience of the Mass. He titled it, How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist. You can read about it here.
How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist gives you nine concrete steps to help you join your own sacrifice to the sacrifice of Christ as you:
- Serve: Obey the command that Jesus gave to his disciples at the first Eucharist.
- Adore: Put aside anything that seems to rival God in importance.
- Confess: Believe in God’s power to make up for your weaknesses.
- Respond" Answer in gesture, word, and song in unity with the Body of Christ.
- Incline: Listen with your whole being to the Word of God.
- Fast: Bring your appetites and desires to the Eucharist.
- Invite: Open yourself to an encounter with Jesus.
- Commune: Accept the gift of Christ in the Eucharist.
- Evangelize :Take him and share the Lord with others.
Filled with true examples, solid prayer-helps, and sound advice, How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist shows you how to properly balance the Mass as a holy banquet with the Mass as a holy sacrifice. With its references to Scripture, quotations from the writings and prayers of the saints, and practical aids for overcoming distractions one can encounter at Mass, this book guides readers to embrace the Mass as if they were attending the Last Supper itself.