The more convinced “yes” passes through a “no”
There is a video by Fr. Fernando Armellini with English subtitles
commenting on today’s Gospel reading:
There are people who answer yes without having understood. There are also sincere people who say no because they are not convinced and want to understand better. Their ‘no’ is just a polite way to ask for explanation and to say that they want to see thing more clearly. Whoever immediately answers ‘yes’ to God perhaps does not realize who He is, what He thinks and proposes.
Whoever produces is appreciated in our society. The old, the sick, the disabled are respected, loved, helped, but are often felt as a burden. The perception of their value and the preciousness of their contribution to making our world more humane is not immediate. We reward the efficient and the capable. We esteem those who are able to succeed by themselves and we remunerate those who work. God instead starts from the last, is interested of the last, privileges and rewards the last. Freely.
The parable of last Sunday has shocked us and perhaps, during the week, we reflected on the inconsistency of the master’s behavior. He pays the last hour workers as the first ones. It is difficult to give up the religion of merits and believe in gratuitous love of God. Today’s reading seems to respond to our objections: “You say Yahweh’s way is not just! Why Israel, is my position wrong? Is it not rather that yours is wrong?” (v. 25).
Saying yes to God means giving up one’s own thoughts and accepting his. He does not look for the satiated, but those who are hungry to fill them of his possessions (Lk 1:53). He does not appreciate the powerful who sit on thrones, but lowers himself to raise the lowly (Lk 1:52). He does not reward the righteous for their own merits, but makes himself companion of the weak and introduces the tax collectors and prostitutes first in the kingdom. Only those who recognize themselves as last, sinners and in need of his help will experience the joy of being saved.
To internalize the message, we repeat:
“The Lord teaches his ways to the humble, the poor and the sinners.”