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The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana







There was a man with two sons. He commanded the elder to work in the vineyard. The elder replied: "I am on my way, sir", but never went. Then the man came to the younger and said the same thing. The younger replied: "No, I will not." But afterwards regretted and went.  


Christ asked the chief priests and elders which of the two sons was more pleasing to the father. They answered: "The second." 


The elder son is the symbol of the Israelites in the Old Testament. God gave them the commandments and the prophets to remind them of the commands. They often responded: Yes we will obey everything that God has commanded. But never did so. It is like us, Christians, who promised to renounce Satan and all his works during our Baptism and renewal of Baptismal vows during Easter rites and then go out to embrace all of Satan's works. It is like us who vowed to be soldiers of Christ during Confirmation and ended up enemies of Christ by our disobediences to His commands; like us who vowed to be loyal and to love our spouse during Holy Matrimony and betray our partners at the slightest excuse. 


Yet there are many sinners in the world who never made such promises and are repentant for the evil things they had done and followed Christ. Christ mentioned the prostitutes.  Because, I guess, they were conscious of the wrong they were doing unlike those baptized and confirmed Christians who feel righteous. 


Well, if we Christians cannot enter ahead of the prostitutes and publicans because we do not keep our sacramental promises, at least we must try to enter after them. Let us keep our sacramental promises to keep the commands of Christ even this late. We have no choice if we want to enter the kingdom of heaven. 


How? St. Paul, addressing the Philippians, said: "I beg you, make my joy complete by your unanimity, possessing the one love, united in spirit and ideals. Never act out of rivalry, or conceit; rather, let all parties think humbly of others as superior to themselves, each of you looking to others' interests rather than to his own." 


Blessed Theoplylact:  On Matthew





(updated 02-09-02)

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