Study: When in your life have actions “shouted down” the words we hear?
Pray: Ask the Lord for the strength to be consistent in what we say and do.
Serve: How do my words encourage others? How do my actions show my care and support?
It seems like there are certain phrases that get said throughout our lives. These words are commands, invitations, and requests to make things happen – and they come in many forms:
“Take out the trash”
“Clean your room”
“Do the dishes”
“Come to my…” (athletic game, concert, etc.)
“Would you volunteer at…” (pick one!)
“Help me with…”
Let’s face it. We are asked to do many things throughout this life. From chores and tasks to acts of kindness and civil responsibility, many of these actions are simply part of our existence on this earth.
Yet once we hear these words we are asked to respond. This happens in two crucial ways:
* What we say (our WORDS)
* What we do (our ACTIONS)
When we are confronted with a request or invitation how we respond says a lot about who we are. If our words and actions are in agreement everything is fine – “yes” means yes and “no” means no. But if we say one thing and do another, then the weight of our choice is measured in our actions.
This is the message of the Gospel today. Jesus speaks of two sons who receive a request from their father. One says yes but does not act, the other says no but changes his mind and acts. In the end, the one who acted did his father’s will.
We journey through life confronted by countless choices everyday. Some things we know should be done, others should not. Some things are options that could be done; we have to weigh the priorities of our time, energy, ability, and need. Yet what we discover is that we are defined not by what we say, but by what we do.
As people of faith we have other commands to follow: Love God; Love one another; Repent and forgive; Work for justice; Seek peace. Indeed our faith is reflected not in our words but our actions; even the Golden Rule “Do to others as you would have them do to you…” (Mt 7:12) is nothing more than a reminder that actions speak louder than words.