This week’s readings and homily at church brought to light a concept of our faith as Christians. It was that God’s ways rule, not ours. Simple concept, making perfect sense, if you accept that God is perfection in every way.
In our lives, however, the natural cycle of things is we are born narcissistic looking out for ourselves. As such it would be only natural for us to think that whatever we need, want or think gets our desires covered is the correct course of action. Good parenting knocks that silliness out of us young. We can start seeing how selfishness actually causes separation from our brothers and sisters. Only by working with others, and caring for them as much as ourselves do we build the friendships needed to survive in this world. This basic understanding of friendship is the antidote to narcissism. Friendships allow us to succeed as a husband, father, coach, soldier, businessman, farmer, or priest.
The Gospel (Matthew 21:28-32) today told us the story of the two brothers. One brother said no to his father’s commands, but went out to follow them anyway. The other brother said yes to his father’s commands, but did not heed the instruction. One was in the right, and one was in the wrong at the end of the day. For the man who repented and did the right thing, salvation awaited him. For the man who talked the talk, but walked away life would end.
Obviously we would rather say and do the right thing all the time! This would surely be the easiest way to unity with Christ in word and deed! We are however fallen creatures, made with weakness and stubborness. As such we are very capable of failing in word, deed or both!
Thankfully our perfect God knew this, and provided us many paths towards redemption from our birth until the very end of our earthly lives. It is truly the only way we could be saved given our original state of mind. I guess it is just one more way to understand why God’s ways rule, not ours.