God’s Will


The Gospel of the day is about the father and his two sons (Mt 21: 28-32). The eldest son is requested to go to the fields and he refuses. But later changes his mind and does go. The younger son who is approached next by the father agrees to go, but does not actually do so.  So who does the will of the father?

While what Jesus says after this narration is a moral, this parable offers a better understanding of the concept of ‘God’s will’.  There is often the clash between doing God’s will and following our own free will.  How does one really reconcile both these?

The father, in the parable, merely asks his elder son to go to the field/vineyard.  He does not tell him which route to take, by what vehicle to reach the place, what exactly is to be done there, whom to meet, what to do and what not to do. The father trusts his son to know what is to be done and how best to do it. That part of it he leaves it to his discretion.  Moreover, when the son initially declines to go, the father does not impose his will on him.  Furthermore, once the son decides to go to the fields, there is only so much to be done, as is to be in a field!  He certainly will not be able to watch a movie there!  Nor will he be betting on horses.  The consequent action of his decision to go to the fields is limited by those options present in a field.

Similarly when God invites us to a certain task, He does not specify each and every bit of it. That He trusts us to figure out, using the qualities of the head and heart we have developed.  He did not create us as robots with each and every step completely programmed.  He made us with His own breath to be creative, different, special – even commit faults and run into error.

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