Advent Reflection #16
The parable in today’s passage, though short, is incredibly challenging. Jesus tells of a man who asks his two sons to go and work in the vineyard. One son says, “no,” but later decides to show up and work. The other says, “yes,” but does not show up at all. “Who did the will of the Father,” Jesus asks. The first one, of course – better late than never.
Your words matter little, if your actions do not back them up.
He goes on to say, “truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the Kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.”
God will populate His Kingdom. Those who accept and believe in the Lord Jesus will be saved. This is not dependent upon race, gender, social position, or even whether or not one is a part of Israel. This isn’t even dependent upon whether or not one lives a truly holy life. Instead, belief that is backed up with good and loving actions towards others is the criterion upon which salvation rests. Here, the tax collectors and prostitutes – despite being the lowest of the low – are lifted up by Jesus as going first into the Kingdom of Heaven because they accepted John and they accept him. The religious elite, on the other hand, despite all their wisdom and holiness neither accepted John or Jesus.
God will populate His Kingdom no matter what. Who you are and what you’ve done does not matter. That you believe in Him and love others as a result does.
Give us faith to follow you in love, Lord Jesus.