WelCom October 2017:
28 ‘What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He went and said to the first, “My boy, go and work in the vineyard today.” 29 He answered, “I will not go,” but afterwards thought better of it and went. 30 The man then went and said the same thing to the second who answered, “Certainly, sir,” but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the father’s will?’ They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, ‘In truth I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you, showing the way of uprightness, but you did not believe him, and yet the tax collectors and prostitutes did. Even after seeing that, you refused to think better of it and believe in him.’
Following through with action
As a mother this Gospel story really resonates with me. So often I ask my children to do something and the reply is, ‘yes I’ll do it later’. What I hear is, ‘I’m not going to do it but by telling you I am going to do it later it will mean you will get off my back.’ On a good day I will let it go. But on a day when I am feeling a bit stressed I’ll argue the fact that I want it done now. And we all know only too well how that scenario plays out!
This parable says the son changed his mind. In reality both sons changed their minds. They both did the opposite of what they said they were going to do. But what if what they did was more than just changing their minds? What if what really happened was a change of heart? It was this same change of heart that was easy for the ‘tax collectors and prostitutes’ to do but for some reason the ‘so called learned’ just didn’t get it.
What is it that stops us from having a change of heart? What is it that makes us say one thing but then we do something else?
So often we find ourselves doing this. We may say we will pop in and have a cuppa with someone but we never really find the time. Or we may say we will get onto that pile of paperwork but there is always something more interesting to spend our time on. What really matters is right practice and right words.
Not so long ago, after hearing someone saying wonderful words but seeing their actions were not reflecting what they were saying, it made me sit up and think, ‘Am I like that? Do I do that?’ I sat down and wrote in big bold letters: “May my actions always reflect my words”. We know the saying actions speak louder than words but what if we made a real point of our words and actions singing from the same song sheet and really resonating rather than being a clanging bell?
There’s a song by Neil Diamond called ‘What a Beautiful Noise’. It speaks about a beautiful noise going on everywhere and that it’s the music of life. It’s well worth listening to. Perhaps we can be the start of a ‘revolution’ that has our words and actions singing off the same music sheet creating a beautiful noise.
Fiona Rammell is a Lay Pastoral Leader, Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish, and a parishioner at St Joseph’s, Upper Hutt.