Today’s gospel invites us to reflect on our relationship with Jesus. Are we like the chief priests and elders of Jesus day, who keep the message of the gospel with our lips, but not with our lives? Or are we those who do the will of God in all we do, think and say.
The gospel shows the chief priests and elders questioning Jesus about the source of his authority. Jesus refuses to name for these religious leaders the source of his authority. Instead, he questions them. The answer they give is correct, but it convicts them for their failure to heed the call of John the Baptist and for their inability to recognise Jesus as the bearer of the Kingdom of God.
The situation Jesus poses is rather straightforward. Given the same task by their father, one son asserts his disobedience in words, but then obeys in his actions; the second son obeys with his words but disobeys in his actions. The question that Jesus poses is pointed and direct: Which son did what the father wanted? All would agree that “actions speak louder than words” and that even if his words were disobedient, the son who did the work as ordered did the father’s will.
Jesus’ conclusion is also direct. The chief priests and elders, the ones who speak most often about God, did not act accordingly. They did not respond to the message of repentance announced by John the Baptist with a change of heart. Instead, John’s message was heeded by those one would not expect to repent—tax collectors, prostitutes, and other sinners. Because of their actions, these sinners will enter the Kingdom of God ahead of the religious leaders.
Jesus asks us the same question. Do our words indicate our obedience to God? If not our words, do our actions? God desires a full conversion of heart from us all. He desires that our actions (and our words as well) will give evidence of our love for God. Will we say Yes to the call of Jesus? Will we take up our cross each day and follow him?
Mass today will be at 10.00am and you are welcome to join us online.
This week’s newsletter can be found here.
The Welsh Government has announced that as from today (Sunday, September 27th) at 6.00pm, the City and County of Cardiff will enter local lockdown restrictions due to the recent increases in Coronavirus cases. As part of the lockdown, parishes have been asked by the Archdiocese to review safety measures and reassess capacity figures for Masses. Mr. Paul Doherty, Parish Health and Safety representative, has conducted the review and advised that, given the profile of those who have been attending public Masses and the wellbeing of the small number of stewards who have volunteered, the parish should suspend the public celebration of Mass until the local lockdown is lifted. Canon Isaac has taken Paul’s advice and made the decision to cease public Masses after today, Sunday, September 27th until the local lockdown is lifted by the Welsh Government.
Mass will continue to be celebrated online during this period.
Ceremonies not open to the general public, for example funerals, baptisms and weddings, will still go ahead.