Actions speak louder than words. What we do with our feet tells people more about us than what we say with our mouth. In the Gospel for today, one brother said to his father, “I’ll do whatever you want, dad.” But he didn’t follow through. Another brother said to his father, “No way dad.” But, he had a change of heart, and does his father’s will.
Jesus said in another place, “Not everyone who cries Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my father will enter the kingdom.”
Does the Word of God change our hearts enough to move our hands? We hear that we are brothers and sisters. How do we reach out to one another? We are told to love our neighbors as ourselves. How do we treat one another? Jesus tells us that he is found in the hungry, thirsty, lonely, and imprisoned. How do we take care of the neediest people among us? And, on this Sunday when the worldwide Church lifts up the needs of refugees and immigrants, what do we do when we hear our second reading say to us: “Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but also for those of others.”
Yes, sometimes we grumble about doing the right thing, but we can still do it. God wants us to do the right thing, even if we hem and haw about it sometimes. A “No” in our words can be changed to a “Yes” in our actions.
Perhaps we should strive to be a third child, a child not mentioned in the Gospel, but a child that God would really want us to be – the child who says, “Yes”, when asked to go into the vineyard, and actually goes. That is the person who not only says “Our Father who art in heaven,” but actually goes to do his will on earth, as it is in heaven. That’s the person I want to be – we all want to be – even if I, like many of you, still need to work on it.
But, remember that Jesus said, even those who were considered deeply flawed human beings, heard the Word of God and changed their lives, and are even now entering into the Kingdom of God. That’s possible for all of us!
Have a blessed week everyone!