This reflection on the Parable of the Two Sons helps us consider that we cannot just say we are Christians. We must also act. And we must sometimes have the humility to admit we were wrong and then do the right thing.
Imagine you, Will, and Rita are working on a long term group project for school. You are dividing up the tasks which must be done this week. When you give Will his assignment, he tells you that he is going to be really busy for the next few days and won’t have time to do it. Ugh! That means more work for you. You give Rita her assignment and she tells you she understands it and will get it done right away.
The next day, Will calls you and says “I realize that was really unfair for me not to do any of the work for this week. I’ll take care of part of the assignment.” You talk it over and he takes one of the more difficult tasks.
The day before the work is due, the three of you have a meeting to put your work together. You have your work done. Will has completed his task. Rita says, “I never did it. We had a big family event over the weekend and I was tired.”
How do you feel about how about Will and Rita’s contributions to the project?
Now read the Parable of the Two Sons:
Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people: "What is your opinion?
A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, 'Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.'
He said in reply, 'I will not, ' but afterwards changed his mind and went.
The man came to the other son and gave the same order.
He said in reply, 'Yes, sir, ‘but did not go.
Which of the two did his father's will?"
They answered, "The first."
Jesus said to them, "Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you.
When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him."Matthew 20:1-16A
We have probably all been in a situation where somebody said they would do something and then didn’t follow through. This can be really frustrating.
- How does it make you feel when somebody promises to do something and then doesn’t do it?
- What are some of the things we promise to do as Christians which are difficult to carry out?
And perhaps we’ve found ourselves in situations where we started to make a bad choice and then reversed course and did the right thing in the end.
- Is is difficult to admit you were wrong and try to make it right? Why?
- How can the sacraments of the Church help you with this?
As Christians, we are called to be “doers of the Word”. That means we must not just learn about what Jesus teaches us. We must act.
- What are some concrete ways you can act on your faith this week?
- How will these things help your community?
- How will these things help your faith grow?
- Are you willing to change in order to make your community a better place for everyone?
Pick one specific thing you want to do this week to put your faith into action. Come up with one word to remind yourself of the action you want to take. Write that word on a prayer rock and carry it with you as a reminder.
(See the prayer rock activity for specific instructions)
Close with a prayer.