Saint for the day:Therese of Lisieux (January 2, 1873 – September 30, 1897)
Ezekiel 18:25 – 28 – Psalm 25 – Philippians 2:1-11 – Matthew 21:28-32
The beauty of our Catholic Church and the liturgies that we celebrate is the fact that there is always something that we can grab on to and apply to our own lives. The Gospel today, with the story of the two sons: one who says, “yes I will” but doesn’t and the other who says, “no I won’t” but does is a perfect example of how most of us live out our commitments to follow the Lord. St. Paul says, “the Lord has given me a ‘thorn’ in the flesh” that makes it difficult for me to whole-heartedly follow him. Eg “I will never deny you…” and then, “do you love me X three?”
God has given us incredible gifts that cover the range from our sexuality to spirituality; from questioning to understanding; from wanting to live forever to actually living forever! And each one of these tremendous gifts are usually two-sided: they drive us on while at the same time pulling us down. We say, “yes I will…” but then we don’t. “No I won’t … but then have a change of heart and do. We are reminded of Paul’s admonition, “From glory to glory He’s changing me…” We are in the process of coming to an understanding of what God is calling us to: to bring our entire selves – body and soul, warts and scars, faults and denials, sins and failures asking Him to forgive us seven times seventy! And He does! When Jesus/God says, “Yes I will” He doesn’t turn back on that promise.
Lord, you know how much I want to follow you completely. Look not on my failures but, rather, on my desire to have you be all in all in my life. When I slip and fall off the path you have set for me bring me back with your gentle words, “do you love me? Do you love me? Do you love me?” Yes, you know that I love you. Amen!