ST LUCY, V.M. (Memorial) Red
Lucy (whose name means “bearer of light”) was a wealthy, young Christian who vowed her life to Christ. Her mother agreed with Lucy’s desire to live for God after several attempts to thwart it through an arranged marriage. Lucy rejected the pagan bridegroom, Paschasius, and he denounced Lucy as a Christian. The governor planned to force her into prostitution, but when guards went to fetch her, they could not move her. The governor ordered her killed instead. After torture that included having her eyes torn out, she was stabbed to death.
First Reading: Zep 3:1-2.9-13; Psalm: 34. R. v. 7; Gospel: Mt 21:28-32.
HONESTY BEFORE GOD
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
Honesty is a virtue; not everybody has it. It is good to be very honest even when what we are honesty about isn’t good. It can be very shameful to acknowledge who we are especially when that identity has to do with our weaknesses. However, evading it complete is even more destructive. When we pretend to be holy when truly we are not, we may not see the need to repent from what we pretend about and do not accept. A man, who acknowledges that he is unfaithful to his wife, stands a better chance to repent from his actions than a man who cheats and denies that he’s a cheat.
In the parable of today’s gospel, the first son was very honest to his father when he said he will not go to the vineyard upon his father’s request. However, something happened thereafter. He experienced a metanoia (change, repentance) and realised he should have acted differently and decided to obey his father. On the contrary, the second son upon the request of his father agreed he was going to go to the vineyard to work but failed to do exactly that. He pretended before his father and acted out who he truly was. God’s grace works on a sincere sinner and not on those who postures righteousness.
A sick person cannot be cured if s/he fails to acknowledge the illness. God wants us today to be brutally honest about our disobedience and sinful actions because it opens us up to his grace at work in us. The truth is that if we were very honest to ourselves, we would all realise that we often say no to God than yes to him. We often disobey God and go our own way. God understands our human weaknesses. And since he does, it would be foolish of us therefore to deny before God what he already knows about us. Our repentance begins when we become very honest just like the publican, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” (Lk 18:13).
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, grants us the honesty to acknowledge our weaknesses. Amen.