December 15, 2020 – 3rd Week in Advent

“Bridging the gap between the two essentials of life – one’s talking and one’s walking the talk!”

(Based on Zeph 3:1-2, 9-13 and Mt 21:28-32 – Tuesday of the 3rd Week in Advent, Year B)

Two twins who looked very similar in appearance, lived in a village…
They grew up & took one’s choice of profession:

One a preacher of the Word, the other a Medical practitioner.

Years later, they both came to their village on holidays.

On seeing one of them, a neighbour asked, “Are you the one who preaches?”

Coolly, the person replied:
“Nope! I’m not the one who preaches!
I am the one who practices!”

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.

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 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 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, we can do the Father’s Will
Like Christ, when we prioritize other’s interests over selfish ones, we can do the Father’s Will
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!

Let us examine… and if needed, amend our lives…

Are we the one who only preaches?
OR
… Can we become the one who also practises?

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Those who wish to straighten a young tree, not only to bring it to the direction in which they wish it to grow…

… but even bend it somewhat beyond, so that it will not return to its former direction!”

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