The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home
September 27, 2020 – Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Matthew 21:28-32
Download this simple process to Prepare for Sunday using the Observe, Judge, Act Method.
I will date myself by the example I use to explain today’s gospel. I refer to a song that was part of a musical that was created many years back. (Of course, many of the oldies are now available through various sources these days.) The musical was called “My Fair Lady” and one of its songs has the following line, “You say that you love me. Show me!”
In other words, affirmations without deeds which prove the authenticity of the words, are incomplete. Or stated in another way, words without deeds might be hollow. Meaningless. Or to use a line that Pope Francis has used: Actions speak louder than words.
Jesus came to change the world. He came not only to provide us with a better way to think, but more importantly, a better way to act. He wanted us not only to think well of ourselves and others, but also to treat each other in a better way.
We are to give concrete witness to the Christian thoughts we have and the words we say. It’s a package deal. Another biblical passage comes to mind: By their fruits you will know them.
We are in the midst of a political campaign. I’m not taking sides here, but my guess is that most voters are more impressed by what the candidates do than by what they say. Deeds are more honest than words, more reliable, more credible.
One of my favorite gospel passages describes how Jesus related to children. When some of the disciples of Jesus were concerned about how children seemed to get in the way of Jesus, instead of giving a lecture on the dignity of children in God’s world, Jesus invited the children to come close to him. He invited them to be in the first row. They are very important to me and to God. It’s as if he said, “Here, I’ll show you.”
The greatest act of Jesus that showed his love for us was his dying on the cross. Before this incredible deed, he said to those at the Last Supper that the greatest love is shown when one gives one’s life for friends. Then he did just that! Words followed by deeds. That was to be the pattern for the Christian life from then on.
©David. M. Thomas, PhD