The Parable of the Two Sons
Samuel Taylor Coleridge in, Table Talk, said this arresting statement: “If a man is not rising upwards to be an angel, depend on it, he is sinking downwards to be an evil.”
This statement is arresting and worth pondering because it reminds us that we are constantly changing either for the better or for the worse. And today’s gospel parable is an example of this. This parable is similar to the parable of the prodigal son. Both parables involve two sons. The elder son who said that he will go but later did not do so is symbolic of the Jewish authorities mouthing so much about, their love for God by strict adherence to the Law of Moses. They begin life well but end it badly because in the process of doing so, they have failed to develop the spirit of love and compassion.
While the younger son, represents those considered as sinners in the Jewish society especially the most obvious ones, the tax collectors and the prostitutes who begin life badly but end it well.
Both parables are symbolic. This means that the two sons set before us two kinds of people and ask us which one we resemble. Are we like the second son who moves closer to God in our lives or are we like the first son drifting further from God in our lives?
This parable of the two sons describes also of our two responses to the will of God. When we do God’s will, we will become holy and righteous. This is manifested by accepting the ministry of Jesus. Accepting the ministry of Jesus is more than accepting the right path which is the following of the Law (Job 24:13; Prov 8:20). This is saying ‘yes’ to God at all times. There are many times that we may say ‘no’ to God but we can change. We can also admit that we have been wrong and change the course of life. And John Henry Newman said: “To live is to change. To be perfect is to have changed often.”
And so, we have to know God’s will in our lives. What really God wants us to do. And we have to do God’s will. Just like this story I read about Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Saint Ignatius of Loyola, one day said to Fr. Lainz: “Suppose God let you choose, either to go to heaven now or to stay on earth with the chance of doing something for His glory, which would you choose?” “I would make certain of heaven now,” replied Fr. Lainz. “Well,” said the saint, “For my part, I would remain on earth, to do the will of God. As for saving of my soul, I am sure God would take care of it. I don’t believe he would let anyone perish who, for love of Him, had delayed entering heaven.”
At the end let us reflect this Arab proverb: “If you want to disobey God, seek a place where He cannot see you.”
OPTION 01, 02, 03,