September 27, 2020
Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
We all go through life hearing statements and phrases that, perhaps after a while, lose their strength. I am thinking of basic things like “Don’t interrupt someone who is talking,” or “Eat what is put before you,” or, more recently, “Don’t forget to wear your mask.” Today’s statement to consider is: “Actions speak louder than words.” How do we keep this from becoming a cliché and therefore easily ignored? Jesus comes to the rescue for us and presents a story in this weekend’s Gospel that illustrates how important our actions are, and how sometimes our words may promise more than we are willing to deliver. In the end, Jesus wants our actions and our words to be united. We are to speak and live according to His law of love and compassion. This could be hard enough to say [and promise] but even more difficult to live out in our daily existence. Christ’s parable about the two sons teaches us a profound lesson about honesty and commitment. After being told by their father to work in the vineyard, one said “No,” but changed his mind and went after all; the other son said “Yes, I will go” but never showed up. Not only did he disobey his father’s will but said what perhaps even he himself knew was not going to happen. Or perhaps he, in the fervor of the moment, blurted out “Yes!” and then realized it was too much effort to follow through. In the Gospel, Jesus is speaking specifically to the chief priests and elders of the people in order to help them let go of their judgmental attitude toward those who did not obey the law according to their narrow understanding. And what is it He wants instead? Nothing less than our salvation: light, peace and joy with Him forever. We are loved so much. Knowing this prompts us to say “yes” to God and mean it…and if we say “no,” to reconsider and turn back to Him in humility. The goal for us Christians, then, is to have our words and actions come together in a resounding “YES” to whatever God asks of us. This is the life of faith. This is the great life to which we are called.