Theme: Actions speak louder than words
Today's Liturgy talks about the freedom we have to say " yes" or " no" to God. It also talks about the possibility to change.
First reading: (Ezekiel 18: 25-28)
Each of us is responsible for our conduct. The good person who falls away will have to answer for it. The evil person who repents will be forgiven and live.
Second reading (Phillippians 2: 1-5)
Self-seeking and rivalry have no place in the Christian community. Christ came on earth to give us an example of humility which we should imitate
Gospel ( Mathew 21: 28-32)
Actions speak louder than words. Today's parable seems simple and straightforward. It is far from this. Given the context in which it was spoken and the people at whom it was aimed, it is nothing short of explosive
Jesus had found far more openness to his message among sinners than the religious leaders. While many of the former heeded his call to conversion and were making their way into the kingdom of God, the later stubbornly refused to change their lives. One, of course, would have expected it the other way round.
The Jewish people were the ones who said they would obey God but didn't. The tax collectors and sinners were those who said they would not obey God but then repented and did obey Him.
Some people will promise anything. At the initial stage of the activity, while generating ideas and planning, they are loud in their willingness and loyalty. When it comes to the actual doing stage, they fade away. Others are initially reluctant to promise anything and from whom little can be expected. Yet often these are exactly the people who come up trumps, provided we know how to appeal to them.
The parable teaches us that promises will never take the place of performance. Fine words cannot substitute actions. We shouldn't think that the parable has nothing to say to us.
Part of us says " yes" to God with our words, and part of us says " no" to God with actions. We must, therefore, constantly examine ourselves. We must try to turn our promises into fulfillment, to turn our words into deeds, we must see ourselves in need of continual conversion. Every day we can turn one of yesterday's " nos" into one of today's " yes"