Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Matthew 21:28–32

Friends, today’s Gospel is the parable of the two sons, a story about obedience to God. To live the good life is not finally a matter of autonomy but of obeying commandments.

The obedience that Jesus desires is a surrender to the one who wants what is best for the surrenderer. The entire to-be of the Son is a listening to the command of the Father, and the creature, consequently, is meant to be nothing but a listening to the command of the Son.

This is why Jesus says in the Gospel of John, “You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer. . . . I have called you friends” (John 15:14–15). What was lost in the Garden of Eden was friendship with God, symbolized by the easy fellowship enjoyed by Adam and Yahweh.

The whole of the biblical revelation—culminating in Jesus—could be construed as the story of God’s attempt to restore friendship with the human race. In the Last Supper discourse we hear the conditions for this restoration: coinherence with God.

REFLECT: Is there any limit in this life to our opportunity to repent and be forgiven by God? How does repentance facilitate coinherence, or unity, with God?

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