Gospel / Matthew 21:28-32
Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people: “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.’ He said in reply, ‘I will not, ‘ but afterwards 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?” They answered, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him.”
As Jack Nicholson once famously quoted in the movie “A Few Good Men”, “You can’t handle the Truth!” The Truth can hurt, but as Rafiki in Disney’s “The Lion King” also famously quoted, “Ah yes, the past can hurt. But, you can either run from it or learn from it!” A simple thing to say, but a hard thing to do. It’s all about focus. When we lose our focus on Christ and focus on ourselves and our needs, we start to feel sorry for ourselves. D.H. Lawrence famously quoted, “I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.” When we are facing a dark, cold time in our lives, we must keep our focus on Him and Trust that there is a greater plan in all of it that will benefit us in Eternity. An orange won’t fully-sweeten until it has gone through a good frost. It won’t fully-ripen without the bitter cold. In God’s miracle of the orange’s design, He gives us vitamin C when we need it the most – in the dead of winter. So, when we’re feeling a frost in our hearts, we must re-focus and remember that, just like the orange, God is just sweetening us up for Him.