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Actions do speak louder than words

Based on the Gospel of Matthew 21:28-32
“Yes, I will.” “No, I will not.” We make choices every day. In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus talks about choices.

Jesus, speaking to the high priests and elders of the people, told a parable about a vineyard owner with two sons. The man said to the first son, “Go out and work in the vineyard today.” The son answered, “I will not.” Later, he had a change of heart and headed for the vineyard.

When the man gave the same order to his second son, the son answered, “Yes, I will go,” but he chose to ignore what his father asked and did not go.

Jesus asked his crowd of listeners, “Which of these sons did what the father wanted?” They answered, “The first son.”

Jesus said to the high priests, “The people you call sinners will enter God’s kingdom before you because they listened to and believed what John the Baptist told them. You did not listen and believe, and you haven’t changed your minds.”

Jesus compared the first son to the people the high priests called sinners. These people made bad choices and did many wrong things. But they, like the first son, had a change of heart and tried to do what is right.

Jesus compared the high priests to the second son. They heard John the Baptist’s teachings but did not listen to him. They didn’t admit they made wrong choices and didn’t ask for God’s forgiveness. They challenged Jesus’ authority and weren’t ready to change and live as Jesus taught.

God gave each of us a free will. That means we can make choices. When we make right choices and do good things, we act as Jesus taught us, and others can see that in our actions.

When we make wrong choices and sin, God doesn’t give up on us. He will always give us a second chance – if we have a change of heart and try to do what is right. The choice is ours.

What really matters is not what we say we’re going to do, but what we actually do. “Actions do speak louder than words.”

Heavenly Father, help us to be more attentive to what you are calling us to do.