Grumpy brother and honest brother
Two brothers: the second was grumpy, honest and generous; the first was kindly, confused and selfish. We know often people who do what they say, who do something in the end, or who don’t do what they say. The first man knew his mind and then did what was right. Is it the message of this humorous and honest story that sincerity and integrity are important? A certain spirituality ignores ourselves – it’s all about doing. Grit your teeth and get down to it. Roll up your sleeves and work… but ‘nobody asked us how we were’. But we find God both in the discernment and in the doing. In the end we must know how we feel about something and then put that in the hands of God and in prayer and do what seems right. The Lord wants the follow through! We need to take time to decide well – the first son did not do that. Then we need to follow and do what is right.
We need sound heads, compassionate hearts and willing hands. The vineyard is where we live all the time. The call is to live in truth, love and justice. We need to believe in the possibilities of a better world, and to become people who can decide on what is right in the sight of God and do it. We will often resist. We want to do what is right and do the opposite. He understands our mixed motivation. In all of that we need the Christian vision and a desire to do the world a world of good.
Recall a time you felt resentful about doing what you ought to do. How did you feel after doing it? Lord, may everything 1 do begin with you and be happily ended in love. Amen.
Reflection from Donal Neary SJ