“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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
When I was a kid, I was allowed a soda a week. One night, though, I indulged in a contraband Coke. Anxious to complete my crime, I drank deeply and with vigor. I hastily half-crushed the can and hid it behind the television. My dad found it, and I was caught. I was ashamed. And, I got a stomach ache.
It’s hard to be honest, and to admit when we are wrong.
Still, we are not held captive by even the worst things we’ve done. They do not define us. We need not be ashamed of our faults and failures. We must remember instead that the Lord hears us in our brokenness, and offers to mend our hurting hearts. But, in order to be heard we must speak; we must cry out. God will respond with a different cry, the cry of the Christ child who brings us peace.
—Eric Immel, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago. He also serves as a Jesuit vocation promoter and is a prolific author.
God of comfort, these times seem so uncertain, so scary. The world seems darker than it has in the past and I am less sure of myself. Maybe that’s a good thing; maybe now I am turning to you with a realization that I need you so much more and that my life is not in my own control. Let me not forget all of those around the world who are frightened at this moment.
Help those who are victims of terrorism and war. Be with those who have lost so much in the past year. Hold us all in your loving arms and let us be comforted by the strength and peace you want to much to offer us through the birth of your son, Jesus. Thank you for the many gifts you offer us.
—Creighton University Online MinistriesPlease share the Good Word with your friends!