Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Dec. 15, 2025 Tuesday: 3rd Week of Advent C

Dec. 15, 2025 Tuesday: 3rd Week of Advent C

Which of the two did his father’s will? (Matthew 21:31)

“No!” That word can sound like a slamming door. Think about the last time you asked someone to help you. Maybe you asked your spouse to stop for a gallon of milk on the way home, or you asked if you could borrow a book from a friend. If they immediately said no, that would probably be the last time you’d ask them for anything. It would definitely put a strain on your relationship!

In the Gospel reading today, the first son’s “no” put him on his father’s bad side. Working in the vineyard was certainly within what was expected of him in the family. But his “no” wasn’t the end of the story. He may have impulsively refused his father’s request, but when he changed his mind, he was able to get back in line with what his father expected. It was as if he had never even refused. Even better, his relationship with his father was restored! If you think about it, it’s not too different from the parable of the prodigal son in Luke’s Gospel: when the son returned, the father ran out to take him back.

The same is true for us. “No” doesn’t have to be our final answer!

Just because you have said no to God, he has not turned his back on you. You can always change your mind, repent, and say yes! There is always the chance for a new beginning. Just because you see sin in your life—that impulsive first “no” or that long-standing, obstinate “never”—you are not locked into it. Like the first son, like the prodigal son, you can always turn back to your Father. All vestiges of your “no” can be wiped away.

Have you been to Confession yet this Advent? If not, go! Take a few moments to examine your conscience, and ask the Spirit to help you see where your “no” can turn to “yes.” Then go and confess. Turn back to the warm embrace of your heavenly Father. Let him wash you clean. Let him say, “Neither do I condemn you” (John 8:11). It’s never too late to start over again!

“Father, I’m sorry for all the times I’ve said no to you. Wipe my slate clean, and help me to say yes today!”

The Word Among Us