Today’s Gospel is interesting… When the owner of the vineyard asked one of his sons to go out and do some work, he said he would and then did not follow through. This analogy to failing to do God’s will is pretty obvious. Not only did this son fail to do the work, he also misled his father by saying he would (assuming he had no intention to do the work from the beginning.) The other son who said no to his father, but who then did the work also had some inconsistency between his word and his action, but in the parable, Jesus seemed to imply that this one ultimately did the father’s will.
Reflecting on my own response to God’s invitation to me, there are many times that I intend something and then fail to follow through. The failure is often due to weakness rather than an impurity of intention, and the trick, for me, anyway, is not to spend a lot of time and energy beating myself up for my shortcomings, but to sincerely ask God to remove them, pick myself up and resolve anew to follow through.
And there are other times when I am like the son who says no but ends up doing the right thing. Sometimes I end up doing the right thing to avoid feeling guilty. Probably not the ideal motivation… A lot of the time it is upon reflection that I realize that to be true to myself, I must do something. This may not appear to be so different from the guilt motive, but to me it seems a significant difference, as the guilt is more externally motivated, while the integrity motive seems to me a more authentic response.
Anyway, just a brief thought to check back in with you all. I had a weekend of visiting a friend who is going through a bit of a rough patch, and presence to each other was more important than the mounds of work piled up. But I did get enough done to survive my classes tomorrow…hope you all had a blessed weekend!