Working in the Vineyard – Good News for December 16

16 12 2008

Matthew 21: 28-32

Jesus said to the chief priests and the 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.’ The son said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he 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.” 

The Daily Path: Last night over dinner a friend told me how his early exposure to the Catholic Church was not an optional endeavor. His father demanded that he and his siblings go to Mass every Sunday and no pretext could excuse them from dad’s weekly  edict. I’m sure he wasn’t the only kid in the neighborhood to experience this. I know that when I hit my teens, going to church was about the last thing I wanted to do on any morning.

Later as I reflected on this, I realized what an important part of my life God and His church have become. My relationship with God has done a 180. Like the man’s first son in Matthew’s gospel, when God initially called me to work in His vineyard I didn’t want to go. Today, I honestly look forward to Sunday Mass and try to get to church during the week if my schedule permits. I enjoy my conversations with God (although He may find them a little dull) and the time I spend reflecting on His word and promise. If I’m not able to spend this time with God, I feel a gap. A real emptiness.

Wow! What a difference. 

I hope that my kids know God earlier in life so they aren’t telling stories about how their dad dragged them off to church every week. I’ll bet my friend does, too.