Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent
Zephaniah 3:1-2,9-13 + Matthew 21:28-32
December 15, 2015
“ ‘Which of the two did his father’s will?’ ”
Jesus applies His parable of the two sons to tax collectors and prostitutes on the one hand, and to the chief priests and elders on the other. As a parable proclaimed at Holy Mass during Advent, the Church likely wants us also to consider this parable in terms of the two Testaments of the Bible.
The Old Testament applies to God’s “first-born” people, the Jews. The Jews had said “Yes” to a covenant with God. But St. John the Evangelist tells us in the prologue to his Gospel account that Jesus came to these people (“His own”), and they accepted Him not. In not accepting the Messiah, the great majority of Jews were not faithful to their Covenant with God.
Yet God called the Gentiles also, to join with the small minority of Jews in being faithful to the original Covenant through a new and everlasting Covenant. This new and everlasting Covenant was established on Calvary, and is made present to us even today through Christ’s Church, within the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The saints of this Church do the Father’s will.
As a member of this Church, during her Season of Advent, you also ought to reflect on this parable in a third manner. You yourself are both sons. The “other son” who said “Yes” but did not do the Father’s will is you in terms of: first, your baptismal promises; and second, your sins. The first son who said “No” but later changed his mind and did the Father’s will is the child God wants you to be in this Advent Season through the grace of the Father’s only Son ever to say “Yes” and also do “Yes” to His Father’s Will.