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Oct. 1st, 2023 | The 23rd Times

By September 27, 2023 No Comments

A Message from Fr. Dao

Dear Friends,

Just for a change, this week, I, Fr. Simon, would like to share my reflection for this Sunday’s readings.

This week, we observe Respect Life Sunday. We are called and commissioned to promote the culture of life in our society. Let our reflections, prayers and actions be about saying a real YES of obedience to His calling. Please check this week’s bulletin for more information regarding Respect Life.

In the parable of the two sons, (Mt 21:28-32) we encounter a father with a simple request for his two sons: “Go and work in the vineyard today.” The first son responds with a characteristic teenage sigh and a nonchalant: “No.” But later, he changes his mind and ends up working diligently in the vineyard. The second son, however, immediately agrees to his father’s request with an eager: “Yes.” Yet, he conveniently forgets his commitment and fails to show up for work. This parable presents us with the idea of obedience along with a gap between intention and action. It also underscores the significance of repentance and the transformative power it holds. The first son’s change of heart reflects the process of repentance by recognizing his mistakes and regretting them and then, actively seeking reconciliation. Similarly, in our spiritual journey, we are called to humbly acknowledge our shortcomings, turn away from sin, and respond to God’s call with a heart open to transformation.

The parable reminds each of us that it’s not enough to make empty promises or give lip service to God’s will. Instead, God calls us to respond sincerely and wholeheartedly to His call. Let us examine our actions and intentions, ensuring that our obedience springs from an authentic desire to follow God.

We are taught about God’s boundless mercy and willingness to forgive. The first son, despite his initial refusal, found favor with his father through his change of heart. Similarly, God invites us to seek His mercy and forgiveness when we falter, knowing that genuine repentance leads to restoration and grace. The first son’s obedience resulted in fruitful action. Likewise, our genuine repentance and response to God’s call bears the fruits of holiness, love, and service. Let us strive for ongoing conversion, allowing God’s grace to transform us into faithful disciples who bear witness to His kingdom.

This story challenges us to reflect on our own response to God’s call. Like the first son, may we humbly embrace the call to repentance, recognizing our need for God’s mercy and allowing His grace to transform our lives. Let us be sincere in our commitment to follow Jesus, bearing the fruits of obedience and love in our daily journey of faith. May we always seek to follow the will of our heavenly Father and find joy and peace in walking the path of discipleship.

Fr. Simon Dao