Tale of Two Sons

Dear Parishioners,

Our Lord's parables are challenging. They force us to examine ourselves. Because, you see, the parables are spoken at us. Jesus did not just speak to the crowds 2,000 years ago. He speaks to us today, and the parables—his way of speaking—contain messages that we need to apply in our lives. In order to apply the parable we need to examine ourselves. It's in this process of interior reflection that we see we are far from perfect and that we need conversion, hence the challenge of the parables.

This week's parable is about two sons who say one thing and do another. The father asks the first son to work in the vineyard. He says no, but then later on decides differently and goes out to work. The same request is made to the second son, who says yes, he will work, but then does not go. “‘Which of the two did his father's will?’ They answered, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you’” (Matt 21:31).

Which son are we? Do we go to Mass on Sunday and say to God, “Yes, Lord, I love you and I will serve you by being a good person,” and then as soon as we leave the church forget all about God and do something uncharitable? That would be like the second son: we say the right thing, but do the wrong thing.

By this line of thinking we are always going to be the second son. That is because we are all going to sin. But we do not have to stay as the second son. There is always a chance to convert; to change and do the right thing. If we leave church and do something unkind, yes, we've acted like the second son, but there is still time left in the day. Maybe we can make a silent act of contrition for the wrong we've done, or say a Hail Mary for the person we've offended. Then we'll be like the first son and on our way to the Kingdom of God.

Last Friday Mrs. Marshall and I had lunch with all of our new SJS students. It was nice to be with them and welcome them to our school and community. On Saturday we then had our school homecoming. Thank you to all who participated and helped with the day's festivities.

I will be away Monday through Friday this week at Mundelein Seminary for a conference on spiritual direction. There will be no Tuesday Night Theology this week. We will resume on October 10th with a history of the North American Martyrs: Sts. John Brebeuf, Isaac Jogues, and the other missionaries who worked with the Native Americans and spread the Gospel in our homeland.

If you are interested in becoming a Catholic, or know of someone who would like to become a Catholic, then please email me or Father Laurent. We will sign you up for RCIA, which is the program to entering fully into the Catholic Church and receiving the sacraments. This is also for those of you who never received the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Yours in Christ,
Father James

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