Matthew 21: 28-32
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people. “Tell me what you think of this story: A man had two sons. He went up to the first and said, ‘Son, go out for the day and work in the vineyard.’
“The son answered, ‘I don’t want to.’ Later on he thought better of it and went.
“The father gave the same command to the second son. He answered, ‘Sure, glad to.’ But he never went.
“Which of the two sons did what the father asked?” They said, “The first.”
Jesus said, “Yes, and I tell you that crooks and whores are going to precede you into God’s kingdom. John came to you showing you the right road. You turned up your noses at him, but the crooks and whores believed him. Even when you saw their changed lives, you didn’t care enough to change and believe him.”
To me, this Gospel reading speaks volumes about what it means to be faithful to God. It’s one thing to speak about what you intend on doing with your faith, but it’s another thing to actually follow God’s call, to act. In this parable, Jesus raises a simple yet profound point: Actively following God takes more of an effort than just claiming to follow him.
I practice my faith as a way of becoming closer to both God and the world around me. I communicate with God in the hopes of learning more about myself and how I can help those in need. Although I try to make time everyday to pray, I find that things like homework, jobs, extracurricular activities, and other commitments can sometimes get in the way. I may say to myself, “I’m going take some time today to be with God,” but instead end up stretching myself thin, and end up hardly having a single moment to pray that day. Much like what we hear in the reading, saying to ourselves we will make time to pray is ultimately not the same as actually praying. I encourage all of us to take those little moments out of the day to settle ourselves in prayer. Simply take a moment, breath, and say to God, “Be present to me, Lord. Be with me in these next moments. Make this moment a sacrament. I offer it to you, for us.” This helps us all live out what God wants our faith experience to be.