In this Sunday’s scripture we heard about two different responses to a father’s request. It is not wrenching the text to place alcoholics in this picture.
“What do you think of this case? (Jesus asks) There was a man who had two sons. He approached the elder and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ The son replied, ‘I am on my way, sir’; but he never went. Then the father came to his second son and said the same thing. This son said in reply, ‘No, I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. Which of the two did what the father wanted?” They said, “The second,” Jesus said to them, “I assure you that tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. When John came preaching a way of holiness, you put no faith in him; but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did believe in him. Yet even when you saw that, you did not repent and believe in him” [Matthew 21:28-32]
Why is it that some alcoholics take to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and enjoy a new, purposeful existence, and others do not? Some come into an AA room for a time or two and then are not seen again. Those of us around the AA table wonder about such people and we do miss them. We do not judge them for that is not our business at all. Some of us remember to pray for those folks and even by first name when we remember. And, surprise of surprises, there are those times when we see a person return, sit down around our AA table and give in to the new life being offered. Nothing quite makes a person in AA more happy then to witness such a transformation of heart.
How does Jesus’ parable about the father and the son act as a mirror parable? What is one thing in my life that I should change?
Prayer: Lord, God, we thank you for our existence in the life of sobriety. Help us to truly live our gratitude today. Help us, too, to welcome with open arms the stranger and loner who may stray into our AA meeting today. Grant him or her Your grace to be willing to surrender to Your embrace and the embrace of Alcoholics Anonymous. We ask this in Your name, Jesus, our brother, Amen.