In a certain village, a parishioner – a Catholic for many years – was having a conversation with his parish priest.
He said: “Father, if I had fifty acres of land, I would have gladly donated half of it – twenty-five acres – to the Lord and His church”
>> The priest replied: “Ah! That’s so nice and generous of you. And what if you had only 20 acres?”
The man replied: “Oh! Yes, I would have given 10 of it!”
“And”, continued the priest, “what if you had only 10 acres?” Will you spare five for the Lord?”
>> “Sure, I would”, said the man.
Finally, the priest said, “And what if you had only two acres? Would you give one to the Lord?”
“Oh!”, snapped the man, “Now don’t ask me that!
>> You know, that I have only two acres!”
… that’s how it is often in our lives as well, isn’t it?
We promise many big things to the Lord…
… but when it comes to “actually doing something for the Lord”, we tend to back out!
Are we just preachers?
… or can we also be people who practise?
Life judges us, on the basis of how well does our preaching and practising co-ordinate & complement each other.
>> Life presents different moments when there seems to be a dichotomy between one’s words and deeds…
>> Life challenges us to bridge the gap between the two essentials of life – one’s talking and one’s walking the talk!
The Gospel of the Day presents to us an interesting parable of two Sons who are asked to work by their Father.
Last Sunday, we reflected on the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Mt 20: 1-16).
>> We discovered how the landowner – God, proved Himself to be a Mighty Volcano of Generosity and Kindness.
This Sunday, we are back to the vineyard…and the Father invites two of his sons to work in the vineyard.
One SAYS YES…but DOES NOT!
>> The other SAYS NO…BUT DOES!
One preaches…but does not practise!
>> The other does not preach…but practises!
One consents initially…but refuses finally!
>> The other refuses initially…but consents finally!
How often does this situation arise in our own lives and situations too…
We pledge ourselves at trendy events, for the cause of the poor…but we fail to help…
>> Many others remain quite unnoticed…but become forerunners for the cause of the poor!
We make a big show and be popular as a helpful person…but we fail in some genuine needs..
>> Many others remain quite unnoticed…but are present with their full force to render help!
We make many resolutions on new year days or birthdays..but fail to materialize them…
>> Many others remain quite unnoticed…but are able to make many amendments and changes!
We make many promises to the Lord during feast days or novena times…but fail to live up…
>> Many others remain quite unnoticed..but render much love to the Lord through the year!
We all experience this “I will do”
… but “I did not do” experiences in life.
On the personal Faith Level, this trend is seen more distinctly and vividly…
>> People claim themselves to be Catholics…
… but appear in church only on grand feast days!
>> People appreciate the Catholic teaching…
… but support moral laws and practise morality which go directly against!
>> People assert having dedicated their lives to God…
… but fail to find time for God and prayer!
>> People declare loving God above all…
… but fail to reject pleasures which hurts and pains Him!
>> People profess and make vows to God…
… but neglect to even try to keep up those promises!
Like the second son, who said Yes…
… very often, we too become people who nod our heads in consent for anything and everything…but fail to live up to that YES!
The Lord says in Mt 7:21, “Not all who say Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he does the Will of My Father”
Therefore, the proposition is clear:
>> It is not pompous words that will grant life, but carrying out the Will of the Father!
>> It is not fancy talk that will confer true happiness, but practising the Will of the Father!
>> It is not flowery language that will accord blessings, but fulfilling the Will of the Father!
How are we to observe the Will of the Father?
St. Paul (in the second reading of today’s Liturgy) explains how we should set about trying to do the Father’s will:
“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 2:5)
>> Like Christ, when we dare to be merciful and compassionate…
>> Like Christ, when we prioritize other’s interests over selfish ones…
>> Like Christ, when we empty ourselves and became obedient…
… we can do the Father’s Will!
It is not only good news “proclaimed” but good news “practised“…
… that will win others to the glorious freedom of forgiveness of sins!
As we thank the Lord for the gift of all the blessings in the month of September, let us offer the new month of October into His Safe and Caring Hands…
… especially seeking the help of our Blessed Mother Mary by praying the Rosary daily, in this Month of the Rosary – October!
Today we also tenderly beseech the help of the Little Flower – St Therese of Child Jesus – on her feast day and give heed to her words:
“Holiness consists simply in doing God’s will, and being just what God wants us to be.”
Yes, let us examine…and if needed, amend our lives:
>> Are we the one who only preaches?
… or can we also be the one who practises?
God Bless! Live Jesus!