Devotional Thoughts for the 1st Sunday after the Transfiguration. 9th Aug 2015

Reading: From the Gospel according to: St.Matthew21:28-32

Dear and Respected Brethren,

Our Lord is teaching us a great lesson of doing the will of the Father
through the ordinary and simple parable. He said: a certain man had
two sons. He came to his first son and asked him to go the vineyard
and work a full day. First of all the son denied the request and later
he repented. The first son went to the field and worked as his father
longed from him. The father went to the second son and requested the
same. On hearing his father, the second son said: “yes Dad, I will go
to the field and work from now onwards.” But he did not turn that
side. Here our Lord is asking: who has done the will of the father?
The answer was given by the listeners without much delay. They were of
a single opinion that the first son had done the will of their father.

Immediately our Lord said “Verily I say unto you, that the publicans
and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.” (Verse 31) We
might also wonder why our Lord was very harsh and hard in replying so.
But when we would read and listen the next verse we will realize the
reason for our Lord’s worry. Our Lord himself explains: when John came
unto you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him. But
the publicans and the harlots believed him. And when you had seen it
you did not repent and you did not try to believe him.”  In St. Luke
7:29we read “And all the people that heard him and the publicans
justified God being baptized with the baptism of John”.

St. John the Baptist’s only message all along his mission on earth was
an exhortation to ‘repent because the Kingdom of God is at hand’. (St.
Mathew 3:2) Those who believed St. John and his timely exhortations
repented well and they got forgiveness for their sins. They got back
what they had lost.  They all got united to God Almighty through the
baptism given by St. John. Our Lord is telling about them that who got
baptized by St. John the Baptist.

Now let us think about ourselves. We all were once united to God
Almighty through the baptism. We all had been blessed to live a
virtuous life, growing spiritually, by making use of the holy
sacramental life. Through the baptism, we died with Christ, we were
buried with Christ and we all rose from the dead. (When  the infant is
immersed in the water of the baptism tub, the candidate undergoes the
physical death and burial with Lord Jesus and when the celebrant would
lift up the child from the water, it undergoes the resurrection with
Lord Jesus, as explained by St. Paul in his epistle to Romans 6th
chapter)

And still are we in Lord Jesus? How far we are serious about our
spiritual growth? We all are supposed to grow to the perfection of the
salvation. Are we making use of the Sacraments for the spiritual
nourishment of our souls? A proper and systematic sacramental life is
the free gift of Lord Jesus to one and all members of the Holy
Apostolic Church. As we are living in the world where chances are many
to err and get away from God, we all are supposed to repent when we
realize that we are away from our Lord God. In the Holy Church a
proper established system is there for our repentance and forgiveness
of our sins.

We should not give a chance to our Lord God to say that publicans and
harlots will inherit the kingdom of God before us. We must long for
and try to be in the kingdom of God.

We all are supposed to do the will of God in our daily lives. We must
think and find out to whom we do often identify to the first son or
the second son of the father about whom o

ur Lord spoke. We often
pretend to be good and obedient. So there is every chance for us to
identify to the second son. But our Lord wants us all to be similar to
the first son who rose to the circumstance and repented.

Let us try to repent well, as and when we feel the need. Let us try to
be with our Lord God always.
May God bless us all.

Jose Kurian Puliyeril
Kottayam