“A Father had two sons…” It is such an evocative line. We will all know and have experience of the natural conflict that exists within families. The line probably activates the Parable in Luke 15:11-32 of the Merciful Father / Prodigal Son. It may also remind us of some of the ‘great’ sons and their conflicts in the first book of the Tanukh / Old Testament, like Isaac and Ishmael, or Jacob/Israel and Esau. The parable itself is straight-forward. The son who does the will of the father is the one who actually does the will of the father – not the one who only speaks about it.
Unfortunately our faith is often primarily practised first in our words and much more rarely in our deeds. We have a strong intellectual tradition and it is much easier to point to our fidelity in what we believe. But for the Jews both in the time of Jesus and still today, they were much less interested in right beliefs (orthodoxy) than in right practices (orthopraxis). Which leads to the question – what must we do to be faithful to God? And what happens when our lives have been lived under the weight of a cacophony of no’s? What hope is there for finding freedom in our worship of God? Plenty, according to the prophetic voice of Ezekiel.
- Sunday 25, Year A.
- Ezekiel 18:25-28; Psalm 25:4-9; Phil 2:1-11; Matthew 21:28-32