By Father Andrew Kelly
Jesus asks the believing community a very personal question in Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 21:28-32): “What do you think?”
Jesus is asking the community what it thinks about itself.
On the day of baptism everyone in the community said to the risen Jesus, “I go, sir.” The community publicly announced that it would be committed through every word and deed to the vineyard mission.
The vineyard work is radical service, self-emptying and self-surrender to every human being. These human beings are the people encountered every day in marriage and parent commitments, workplace relationships, or in the simple pleasures of watching football and baseball games, musical events or drama presentations that everyone participates in.
In baptism the community professed: “I go, sir, to the vineyard of unconditional love, justice, mercy and compassion in every breath and with every relationship of my life.”
But does the community ever get to the vineyard in spite of its promise: “I go, sir.” So often the situation is personally and communally: “‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go.”
Jesus asks the community: “What do you think?” Does baptism make any difference if no one ever gets to the Lord’s vineyard?