• The Gospel today presents a parable. Like always, Jesus tells a story taken from the daily life of the family; a common story which speaks for itself and does not need much explanation. Immediately, by means of a very simple question, Jesus tries to involve those who are listening and to communicate a message. He involves them in the story without, at the first moment, explaining the objective which Jesus has in mind. After they answer the question, Jesus applies the story to the listeners and these become aware that alone they condemned themselves.
• Matthew 21, 28-30: The story of the two sons. Jesus asks an initial question: “What is your opinion?” He does this to call the attention of the persons in order that they are attentive to the story which follows. And this is the story: “A man had two sons; he went and said to the first one: My son, go and work in the vineyard today. He answered: I will not go, but afterwards thought better of it and went. The man then went and said the same thing to the second who answered, ‘Certainly, sir, but he did not go.” It is a question of a story of the life of a family in daily life. The persons who listen to Jesus understand what he is speaking about, because they have lived this same thing many times in their own house. But as yet we do not understand what Jesus is thinking. Which is the objective that he wants to attain with this story?
• Matthew 21, 31ª: The involvement of authority in the story of the two sons. Jesus tells the story in the form of a question. At the beginning he says: “What is your opinion?” And at the end he asks: “Which of the two did the father’s will?” Those who listen are parents and respond according to what has happened several times with their own sons: The chief priests and the elders will answer: “the first one”. This is the response that Jesus wanted to hear from them and from where he takes the evidence to communicate his message.
• Matthew 21, 31b-32: The conclusion drawn by Jesus. “And Jesus says to them: In truth I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the Kingdom of God before you. John came to you, showing the way of uprightness but you did not believe him, and yet the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. Even after seeing that you refused to think better of it and believe in him”.
The conclusion of Jesus is evident and very hard. According to the opinion of the priests and the elders, the tax collectors and the prostitutes were sinners and unclean who did not do the will of the Father. According to the opinion of Jesus, the tax collectors and the prostitutes in fact, said, “I do not want to”, but ended by doing the will of the Father, because they repent in listening to the preaching of John the Baptist. While they, the priests and the publicans who officially always say “Yes, Sir, I will go”, ended by not observing the will of the Father, because they did not want to believe in John the Baptist.