Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit
Franciscans of Canada - Franciscains du Canada
Ordo Fratrum Minorum
How often am I am blinded by my own will, my own desires and my own wants?
How often do I stay trapped in this blindness making false promises and not seeing a new way?
How often do I make promises and leave them unfilled or condemn others because they have made a change and are no longer trapped by blindness?
These are the questions that I ask myself after reflecting on the following verses in Matthew’s gospel.
“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him. – Matthew 21: 28-31
The chief priests and elders of the gospel are blinded to the change of heart that the tax collectors and prostitutes had over come with their encounter with Christ.
Do I stay trapped in my ways because I feel secure?
Do I fear a change of heart because of the freedom it will bring?
Do I continually seek Christ in my daily living and interactions with others?
The scripture verse includes a parable of the two sons. The first son had a change of heart. He moved from the trappings of his ways, embraced freedom, became an agent of change and service and became a labourer in the field of life. His repentance, if you will, allowed for him to be moved beyond himself and embrace the work, the struggles, the joys, the community of the kingdom. The other son started with the freedom and then choose not to continue to embrace it. He instead allowed his own wants to take over and denied himself true freedom and the beauty of a servant heart.
When have I had a change of heart?
When have I embraced the kingdom of God more fully? How?
When have I encouraged and supported others in their yeas/in their change of heart?
Each day we are given signs that show how deeply and madly in love God is with us. Maybe not grandiose things, but still signs. The righteous acts of a neighbour, the witness of a friend, the positive transformation of a classmate/child/relative, the kingdom being displayed in the generosity of a community, the abundance of creation, the truth spoken by the prophets of our day, the communion of saints gathering to be nourished, supported and transformed are all signs of God’s deep love. These signs point or lead to a change of heart and mind, openness to the truth, freedom from blindness and hopefully an awareness of being a valued part of the kingdom and a deepening of my belief in the Truth, the Way and the Life.
Where is my heart? Is it open? Is it blinded by the false trappings of this world? Can I set it free?
Where can I work on transformation and a change of heart?
Where do I see the signs from God that the kingdom is at hand and I have a part to play in it?
We are called to “let the same mind be in us that was in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2.1-11). We must be open to this, so blindness does not leave us trapped, that our hearts are continually open to change (that comes from knowing Christ) and that we may embrace our part in the kingdom of God. When asked to go into the field (which is daily)… may our yes be a true yes.