Tuesday of the third week of Advent, 2022
Today, Jesus gives the chief priests and elders another parable. Two sons — one that says “yes” to his father without action and a second that says “no” but goes ahead and completes his father’s request.
Jesus asks the people which son did his father’s will. This was always tough for me as a child — I couldn’t understand that the son who said “yes” was still wrong because he didn’t take action. I was always told to honor my mother and father, so I assumed that just meant saying “yes.”
Of course, now I understand that there is more to it than just words. We cannot speak empty words without backing them up with action. That is exactly the point that Jesus is trying to get across today. He is telling the chief priests and the elders that they are making empty promises, while tax collectors and sinners are changing their ways and receiving eternal life in heaven.
We can take it a step further and say, “Yes!” and then go and do as our Father has asked us. At Catholic Charities, we are called every day to love the poor and vulnerable in our communities. We are asked to aid the least among us and help them to better their lives and the lives of their families. Let us continue this good work, renewed with purpose.
One brother said “yes” and did not act, one brother said “no” and did. But let us shout “Yes!” and go out and glorify the Lord by our lives.
Kimberly Phelan is the Parish Engagement Coordinator for Catholic Charities Fort Worth, and she is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Pastoral Theology from the Augustine Institute.