By Fr. Frank J. Timar, MSC
Religion, worship of God, is not just a series of actions. More than actions, it demands that the heart and soul must also belong to God. Our good works do not earn our salvation, but there is no true salvation that does not result in good works in the life of the believer. It is not enough to say the right things, or confess the right beliefs, if we do not also offer our total obedience to God. Jesus told a story about a father who asked his two sons to work in the vineyard. The second son said all the right things to his father. He immediately answered that he was on his way to do his father’s bidding. By all appearances he seemed the ideal son, especially compared to his brother. But after his father left, this second son proved to be all talk. He was like so many of us who speak a better life than we live. He is like the parent who tells a child, “Do as I say, not as I do.” It is poor parenting, of course, for every child knows that actions speak louder than words. Now, the first son, who refused at first to carry out his father’s wishes, changed his mind and went to work in the vineyard.
Which son did what the father wanted? Doing matters! And did you notice the timing of the father’s command to his sons? “Go work in the vineyard today.” Bear in mind that Jesus tells this story during the last week of His life. He did not have time to waste. And we do not have time to waste either. Time is too precious a gift to waste for any of us. What we are going to do for God, we must do without delay.
This little observation by a woman who was celebrating her 100th birthday is very insightful. When the local press interviewed her, one reporter asked her, “What is it like to live a century?” To which she replied, “Young people think that when they get old they will regret things they did that they wish they had not done. But I tell you, if you live this long, you will learn that the only things you ever regret are the things you did not do, that you wish you had. So, my advice to you is this: whatever you are going to do in life, get on with it!”