Reflect Emmanuel is a series of Advent meditations on Emmanuel, our God with us
December 16, 2014Sister Barbara Gutierrez, SND, Adjunct Campus Minister
It is never too late to change.
Have you ever wanted to change something about yourself? Have you ever wished you could change something you said in a moment of anger? Have you ever said “I am going to be nicer to my roommate”, “I am going to complete all the readings before class”, “I am going to call my parents more often”, “I am going to pray more” or simply “I will go to the gym more often” but you never got to do it? I have good news for you. You can change now, it is never too late!
This is what Jesus is telling us today. The son who said no but ultimately went to work in the vineyard did the will of the father. This son changed his mind, reevaluated his priorities, rearranged his schedule and went out to work in the vineyard.
Every time I reflect on this parable, I see myself as the first son. In my imagination I am always the same character in the story. I say no but later change my mind and go to work. I guess I want to look good in front of Jesus, or I want to end up with a clean conscience. In my meditation I ask myself, what was holding me back in the first place? What holds us back to do God’s will?
What is the vineyard today? What kind of work is God calling us to do? This general question requires an honest answer from each of us. Is it to forgive someone who has offended us? Is it to make peace with a friend or a relative? Is it to start taking better care of ourselves? Is it to be more faithful to our prayer? Whatever it is, Jesus tells us is OK, we can do it today, God is giving us the opportunity of a fresh start.
This scripture passage could not find us at a better time. We are nine days away from CHRISTmas, a holiday that we have turned into one of the busiest times of the year. Let us take time to reflect in the real meaning of the season. It is not simply the birth of baby Jesus, it is receiving the ever present gift of the INCARNATION. God becomes human and lives among us! This CHRISTmas let us strive to be the first son in the parable. Let us accept the gift Jesus brings to us – it is never too late to change. God always gives us one more chance.