What is your opinion? (Again)

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Greetings on this the Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Readings: Zep 3:1-2, 9-13; PS 34:2-3, 6-7, 17-18, 19 and 23; Mt 21:28-32
Notes: Once more our gospel portion has Jesus asking us what we think.

I find it really wonderful that Lord wants to know what we think.
It’s a challenge because we know two possible less-than-welcomed outcomes:

  1. We know the answer but don’t want to share it (or do it).
  2. We have the wrong answer and don’t want to deal with it.

One week ago the reflection was What is your opinion?
Yesterday the reflection was Be Honest.

I really like the Psalm responsorial and Alleluia verse correspondence to the question within the question: what do we hope for from the Lord?

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. (v19) Restoration
The LORD redeems the lives of his servants;
no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him. (v23) Forgiveness

and again

Alleluia Verse
Come, O Lord, do not delay;
forgive the sins of your people.

Saint John of the Cross takes the question to a whole new level! (See Franciscan Media reflection).

But for the gospel portion, as is, we have but one answer.
Which of the two did his father’s will?”
They answered, “The first.”


In his life and writings, John of the Cross has a crucial word for us today. We tend to be rich, soft, comfortable. We shrink even from words like self-denial, mortification, purification, asceticism, discipline. We run from the cross. John’s message—like the gospel—is loud and clear: Don’t—if you really want to live!

First reading


You need not be ashamed
of all your deeds,
your rebellious actions against me.

Responsorial Psalm
The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

Alleluia Verse
Come, O Lord, do not delay;
forgive the sins of your people.

Gospel Portion
Again Jesus asks us: What is your opinion?
A man had two sons.
He came to the first and said,
‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’
The son said in reply, ‘I will not,’
but afterwards he changed his mind and went.
The man came to the other son and gave the same order.
He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go.
Which of the two did his father’s will?”

Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you,
tax collectors and prostitutes
are entering the Kingdom of God before you.

I think I’d rather be a repentant tax collector than any other thing.
But, in honor of Saint John of the Cross, I’d like to progress in holiness much further.

What is your opinion – again? (please feel free to write comments below)

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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