Metanoia, the word generally translated “repentance” is both temporary and, in its final stage, permanent. Temporarily, it can happen at any moment of the day or night, when we correctly discriminate in that moment between the back-to-front truth of the world, which sees us being and doing, and the gospel truth, which recognizes that Being and Doing belong to God.
On our final Sunday before we begin the Lenten pilgrimage, we have an Epistle about divine Charity and a Gospel which contrasts the new sight of a formerly blind man and the lack of spiritual insight of the disciples who
“understood none of these things, and this saying was hid from them.”
Jesus explains to His disciples why He teaches in parables. It is so that those who are merely curious and not real seekers after the truth, who have denied the hunger for God within themselves, would only hear stories, not discerning the spiritual content and truth in them. The disciples, and the spiritually hungry would move beyond the surface to begin to grasp the spiritual meaning within the stories. Jesus knew whom He was calling, and as we reflect on the call accounts, we notice that these men are described as immediately leaving their occupations and their families to follow Him.
The owner of the vineyard came to the marketplace, the appropriate place to hire workers. He came there early in the morning, in the middle of the morning and at noon. He came again in mid-afternoon and even in the late afternoon to hire anyone who was still there. He combed through that place again and again and rightly knew that had anyone been there all day, he would have seen him on one of his frequent visits.