The Discerning Voter: Be Open to a Change of Heart

Reflecting Matthew 21:28-32, Fr. Ron Will, CPPS, and Lynda Quistorff, a Precious Blood Companion and former member of the Kansas City Province’s peace and justice committee, are challenged to be open to a change of heart.

The core values of Jesus Fr. Ron and Lynda find in this gospel, which is the Parable of the Two Sons, are:

  • If you say you’re going to do something, do it.
  • Like the first son, be open to a change of heart.
  • Words must be accompanied by action.
  • Humility — the willingness to learn from others.

Noting that the parable is addressed to the elders and high priests, Lynda says that when reflecting on the issues of the day with this gospel “it is helpful to put ourselves in the place of the chief priests and pharisees and ask, ‘How do I need to change?’”

This is especially true on the issue of racism, she said. “Probably, unless we’re black- or brown-skinned, we’re a chief priest on that issue.”

Fr. Ron found one application of this parable to the election season obvious: Does a candidate make promises but has no action? Like the second son in the parable, does the candidate just say what the voters want to hear but takes no action?

There is also a parallel, he added, to candidates who don’t notice the changing attitudes and behaviors of their constituents about things like, for example, global warming, racism, how to contain the Corona virus or how to care for our environment. They don’t heed the warnings and so don’t change their own beliefs or actions.

They also offer up this prayer

A Prayer for the Election

Gracious and loving God,

Let your spirit guide all candidates on the November ballot. Drawing on the resources of faith, we pray that each runs their campaign with civility,

Our nation faces many challenges at this time.

We need wise leadership on many levels, and we turn to you asking that you inspire us as voters to discern which candidates and policies will advance your vision for our human family to make the kingdom of God on earth a greater reality.

Inspire each of us to use this opportunity to shape a society, more respectful of the dignity, life and rights of the human person, especially the poor and the vulnerable.


New videos in this series will be posted on Tuesday mornings. All the videos will be collected on this page: The Discerning Voter: Gospel Values for this Election Season.

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Illustration 133264268 © 3desc | Opening and closing music in the video is “Salute to A New Beginning” by the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets.

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