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.” (Mt 21:31b-32)
Jesus really laid into the chief priests and elders of the people when He told them the story in today’s gospel about two sons, one who did his Father’s will and one who did not. I am sure that the crowd met the statement above with much anger and agitation. After all, they probably thought, who is this guy that He can speak to them this way?
Who is this guy?
Why, He is the Lord and none other!
Jesus speaks to us on a regular basis. Sometimes we heed His words and other times we are like the chief priests and elders in today’s gospel who not only disregard His words but listen with anger.
God’s ways are definitely not our ways. Our ways often mimic the ways of the world rather than the ways of God. The ways of the world tell us that it is perfectly fine to do whatever we want in order to get ahead. We can hurt anyone we want as long as we better ourselves. We can disregard any “good” if we are looking out for ourselves.
The ways of the world will lead us down the path of destruction and doom.
The ways of the Lord, on the other hand, will keep us on that narrow road that leads to the Kingdom of God. Because the path is so narrow, the prophets remind us to prepare the way of the Lord, to make straight His path.
FAITH ACTION: Have you been leading your life too much according to the ways of the world rather than the way of the Lord? Tonight’s Advent Penance Service at 7:00 p.m. may be just what the doctor ordered.