Obedience over Attitude

Readings for Tuesday December 15, 2009

First Reading: Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 34
Gospel: Matthew 21:28-32

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: “What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ The son said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went. The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did his father’s will?” They answered, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom of God before you. When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him.” (Mt 21:28-32)

"NO!" When dealing with children, this is a word that we rarely tolerate. My daughter is only 9 months right now, but I do realize that the day will be coming soon when she will firmly plant her feet, look me in the eye and confidently say "NO" after being told to do something. I pray for when that day does come that the Lord will give me the patience that I need to not fly off the handle. But regardless of what her words are, the important things is that when she is asked to do something that she follows through with it. It is not as important if she is excited about doing it or not, but rather that she is obedient to me as a parent. Attitude can be worked on, much easier than obedience. For true obedience comes from love and respect.

When we feel that the Lord is calling us to do something, we may not be initially thrilled about it, and we may even vocalize that unwillingness to cooperate; but regardless of what our attitude is, it is important to always be obedient to God's will in our lives. In the gospel today, the first son had a bad attitude but was still obedient; and the second son had a wonderful attitude, but was not obedient. Which is better in God's eyes?

In our life, we cannot simply be someone who is cheery and talks a good game, but rather it is more important that we are obedient in all matters ... no matter how much grumbling we may do.

Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for all that you have given to us, and to all that you call us to. Lord, help us to surrender all our own desires and wants and conform our will to yours. Lord, we pray for all those in need of conversion and all those who do not have hope in this world, may they find it in you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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