in the lord’s prayer we say, “…your will be done…” but what does God want? it seems to me that we are constantly renewing our understanding of God’s will; we revise old lessons for our present situation. we grow. this coming sunday’s gospel addresses God’s will in terms of our words and actions:
“Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people, ‘What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He went and said to the first, “My boy, you 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 did not go. Which of the two did the father’s will?’ ‘The first’ they said. Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you, a pattern of true righteousness, but you did not believe him, and yet the tax collectors and prostitutes did. Even after seeing that, you refused to think better of it and believe in him.’” Matthew 21: 28-32
i like that the Lord accepts the actions of those that we believe are public sinners (exploitative tax collectors and prostitutes)– they share the Kingdom of God. Jesus takes to task the self righteous leaders of the people. they talk about doing God’s will but do not show it in their actions. despite appearances and temptations to justify ourselves and others, only God can ultimately judge us.
doing what God wants is primary if we want to experience and inherit the kingdom of God. doing God’s will will bring us ultimate joy and peace.
so the two questions for reflection for us all are: what does God want from me? how do i respond in my actions?
may the Spirit give us wisdom to answer these questions well. may the Spirit give us courage to act in accord to God’s will