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RENEWING OUR COMMITMENT

Father Francis's picture
Third Week of Advent

Zeph. 3:1-29-13 & Mt. 21:28-32

In the first reading we see that the rebellious and defiled will not listen to the call of God, but there will be salvation for those who are humble and repent. The prophecy of Zephaniah can be summed up in the words, ‘Messianic salvation is promised to all the poor in spirit’.

Today’s short parable in the gospel is a direct challenge of Jesus to each one of us to consider how well we are fulfilling the mission Jesus has given us. It seems that the longer we have been following Jesus, the more we are like the second son in the parable. We have said “Yes” to God. Our intention is to follow Him, but in the end, we don’t follow Him very well. We fall short of His expectations. So what do we do? We then at times like Advent renew our resolutions to follow Him more closely, and before long, we find ourselves once again using up our time on ourselves and doing very little for Him. What is wrong with us?

Why doesn’t Jesus come first in our lives? Since we live in a world where many follow Him lukewarmly, if at all, it’s easy to think we are doing a wonderful, even exceptional, job with the way we practice our faith. It’s easy to think this way even when we’re doing little more than the bare minimum, or perhaps living with a fatal flaw in some basic virtue like charity or purity. What if we were evaluated in our Christianity the way we would be evaluated for a job? Would we keep that job if we never worried about doing more than the bare minimum, or if we lacked one of the basic skills needed for it? Why do we think we can get away with shoddy work when it comes to Jesus? Do we forget that God the Father invites us to work in His vineyard, the Church, not as a servant, but as His son or daughter?

Following Jesus is the single most important thing we have to do in our lives. It is more important than any job I could ever have. He has given each one of us a mission in our lives similar to His own mission. Our Lord wishes us to earn graces not only for ourselves but for many souls out there whom we may never even know. These graces could be crucial for the salvation of many souls. We have no way of knowing how many others will depend on my holiness. We need to be ready at any time to bear witness to Jesus and to be a faithful instrument of His grace for whomever He places in our lives.

Lord Jesus, help us to understand the importance of the part of Your mission You have entrusted to us, so that we can live it well as You hope we will. Help us to be more faithful to the daily living of our Christian life and to give witness to You in all situations. Help us to guide others to You with real Christian charity, not pride, so that they will not be repelled by our behaviour, but drawn to You.

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