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 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) The modern culture attacks patriarchy (male leadership) and diminishes the vocation of fatherhood. During Advent, pray for Christ to help you imitate His reverence, love and obedience for the Father’s will and to fulfill the 4th Commandment to “Honor your father and mother.”

3) Advent is a time of preparation for the arrival of Christ at Christmas. As at the coming of Christ at the Judgment, Christ’s words in today’s Advent Gospel emphasize the need to repent of sins. During these last days before Christmas, do a deep Examination of Conscience and go to Confession.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Guardian Angels

Virtue of the Day – Justice

Corporal Work of Mercy – To clothe the naked

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To counsel the doubtful