26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas
September 26, 2011
September 26, 2011
Deacon Folger tells of a time when a CCD teacher was teaching the 10 Commandments to her young students. After explaining the command to "Honor your father and mother," she asked the class, "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brother and sisters?"
A bright young boy's hand shot up. "Thou shall not kill?"
Today's Gospel story reminds us of the commandment to honor our parents. The first son first refuses his father's request, but later decides to obey it and goes to work in the vineyard. The second son promises to do what his father asks, but never gets around to it. The old adage was never truer: the road to hell is surely paved with good intentions.
Obedience, Obedience, Obedience, is the virtue that destroys the road to hell. Of coarse you must know to whom you are obedient because if you are not obedient to Christ and his church you are paving the way to hell. Did you hear that I used the word Hell three times in the in the last 2 sentences, but you must know that hell exists and you must know you can go there.
So what does a person do? Obedience to one's parents is the stepping stone to all obedience and is the very best way to start a life in obedience to Christ and His Church. You can not claim obedience to Christ while being disobedience to parents.
Why do you suppose Moses put the commandment to love one's parents at the head of the second tablet? This was no accident, Moses knew, as the Church knows, that as one fulfills this commandment you will not disobey the rest as this would put your parents in distress and sorrow.
It's very hard at times in teaching the young that obedience is an ongoing virtue. 'If I can just get big enough to leave home, I can do as I please.' Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. Even regarding obedience to parent because they aren't around to keep and eye on me doesn't fly. Why? because under their care and direction you know what they taught you as right and wrong. Here, however, is what many of us didn't count on: Yes! away from home and now I have so many that I must be obedient to! Could be teachers at college, bosses at work, even rules that make up one's profession.
Thank your parents for teaching you to obey, thank the Church that you have been taught the Truth. Thank Almighty God for the gifts of Baptism and Eucharist, Confirmation and all the Sacrament that are meant to be your guide and Salvation.
Be not like the two young men of the Gospel and respond always. Yes!, mom, Yes!, Dad, Yes!, Lord. How often I have told young people that Obedience is not a bad word. Lived out it is the road to Eternal Life. If you think you can get out from under that word you are not living in the real world.
You may be thinking: well, Father and Deacon are out from under. I assure you we have more people and rules over us then you setting in the pews. We can really do nothing except under our Bishop. And did you know that, I, as a Deacon, can really do nothing except that Father approves! What do you think when I go to Father for a blessing before I read the Gospel? What's happening is that I'm receiving permission to proclaim the Gospel using the gift of Ordination. So don't give us a hard time about obedience for we know all about it. We ask of you to likewise be obedient. It's not to us per se, but to Christ and His Church for we know with certainty that that is the shortest and safest way to Eternal Life.
'Thank you' to Deacon Kaas, for letting me post his reflection here.
- "An Eternal Life I can Live With"
(August 27, 2011)
- "Authority: My Wife's Right"
(March 30, 2011)
- "The Village, the Fence and the Sign"
(December 5, 2010)
- "Oh, Hell: You Mean That Place Really Exists?"
(November 20, 2010)
- "The Catholic Church: Authoritarian, Which Isn't Necessarily a Bad Thing"
(October 2, 2008)