The Gospel reading from the Mass for Sunday Cycle A of the 26th Week of Ordinary Time is Matthew 21:28-32.

Following Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem during Holy Week and His cleansing of the Temple, the Jewish leaders challenge Christ to find a way to accuse and kill Him.  Christ, undeterred, aggressively responds, using His infinitely superior wisdom to publicly rebuke His accusers and teach truth.

The Parable of the Two Sons is both a teaching about the need for obedience to God and a warning about the need for repentance.  Men (the sons) are created by God (the father) but tainted by Original Sin (both sons sin).  Some men (the first son) rebel against God (“I will not go”) and His will (to work in the vineyard) but come to their senses and repent (the first son does go to the vineyard). Other men (the second son) have the deceitful appearance of obedience (“I go, sir”), but fail to do God’s will (to work in the vineyard).

The Jewish leaders correctly choose the first son (who goes to the vineyard) as the one who does the father’s will, unwittingly damning their own behavior which is like the second son. Christ, reinforcing the sombre reality of His condemnation using “truly”, reveals some of the worst sinners (tax collectors, harlots) who repented at John the Baptist’s urging will go into the Kingdom of God before the Jewish leaders; the Jewish leaders failed to repent despite witnessing the miraculous conversions of hardened sinners from John the Baptist’s preaching.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ knows the states of men’s souls and who will be accepted into Heaven. Divine Teacher, Christ teaches with powerful and durable parables that help men learn truth. Divine King, Christ is combative and fearlessly challenges and condemns His enemies.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1)  Like the Jewish leaders, all men, to some degree, rebel against Christ by refusing to fearlessly confront their sins and repent; we do so at our peril. Reflect how Christ effortlessly cuts through the Jewish leaders’ rebelliousness and condemns their behavior; no man can stand in unrepentant sin before His gaze.

2) To enter the Kingdom of Heaven, Christ confirms that men must do the Will of the Father. Renew your commitment to do the Will of the Father (CCC 541, 2013, 2603, 2611, 2620, 2712, 2750, 2824) and pray for Christ to help you always strive to be obedient to the Will of God the Father.

3) Every man is at times like the second son, who says “yes” to the will of God the Father but does not do it; every man needs to be like the first son who examines his conscience, repents and does the will of the Father. Review the need for Repentance (CCC 541, 674, 1425-1433, 1889, 1226), examine your conscience, repent, go to Confession, experience the joy of Christ’s Divine Mercy and again say “yes” to the will of the Father.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Blessed Trinity

Virtue of the Day – Charity

Corporal Work of Mercy – To feed the hungry

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To admonish the sinner