The Two Sons

After Jesus drove out the money changers and those who were selling and buying in the temple area (cf. Matthew 21:12-13), the chief priests and elders of the temple challenged His authority for doing so. Jesus then directed the parable of the two sons to them: 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 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. (Matthew 21:28-30)

Please note that this parable has two versions: the first version has the first son say ‘yes’ but did not go, and the second son say ‘no’ but later repented and went. This first version is found in the Duoay-Rheims translation of the bible. The second version reverses the order; the first son says ‘no’ but later changes his mind and goes, and the second says ‘yes’ but did not go. This second version is found in the NAB and RSV translations of the bible. The Catholic Chinese translation of the parable uses the first version.

Jesus then asked the chief priests and elders of the temple: “Which of the two did his father’s will?” They answered, “The first.” (Matthew 21:31) Have you ever asked a friend for a favor? There are some people who say ‘yes’ right away but do not follow through, while there are some who say ‘no’ but eventually change their minds and fulfill the favor. Each one of us may have an opinion on which is preferable, but this parable is more than just a lesson about saying or doing.

The first son represents the religious outcasts – the prostitutes and tax collectors – who, at first, refused to do God’s will by living in sin but later on did the will of God by repenting and believing in Jesus; the second son represents the religious leaders – the scribes, Pharisees, chief priests and elders of the temple – who appear to say ‘yes’ to God’s will, but in reality, do not because they did not repent and believe in Jesus. Which son would we rather be? 

So, how important is it to do God’s will? Jesus tells us in two different instances: (1) Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven,” (Matthew 7:21); (2): “Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Matthew 12:50) These two scripture verses tell us that we must do the will of the heavenly Father, in order to enter the kingdom of heaven and to be called brothers and sisters of Jesus.      

Our church GARAGE SALE will be on Saturday, October 7 from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM. We need volunteers to help, please arrive at the church by 8:00am. Thank you for your support!

Attention parents and youth! We will hold a Youth Retreat on November 4 from 10:00am to 2:00pm in our church. Participant ages are middle school and high school. A certified youth minister will be leading the retreat. We will also have a fun event offsite after the retreat. Please register with Ms. Long Che.

In commemoration of the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi on Oct. 4, we will have the Blessing of Pets next Sunday, Oct. 8 after the 10:30am Mass. You may bring your pets for this special blessing!

Our brand-new church vests are now available for sale. These attractive vests distinctively show our church name and logo. There are 4 sizes available: XL, 2XL, 3XL and 4XL. Each costs $25.

Fr. Bill will administer the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick in the sanctuary after Mass.

We will have our monthly faith workshop in the Conference Room after Mass. The theme is “Beatitudes or Woes?”

GRACE Scholars, Inc. has funds available for the upcoming school year to provide scholarships to students who wish to enroll in our Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. These funds are intended only for families in financial need in order to give their children an opportunity to have a Catholic school education. If you are interested, please contact Fr. Bill for guidance and assistance.

Prayer List: Andrew Chen, Chen Jianxin, Alexis Lam, Stephen Lam, Liang Chenjing, Pan Bohao, Long Guorui, Rosa Wang and Xu Taicheng.