Spiritual Reflection 9/27/2020

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Our Scriptures this Sunday lead us to reflect on the well-known maxim: “Actions speak louder than words.” Ezekiel reminds us in the first reading that there is a path of life and a path of death. He tells us that it is the choices we make that determine the road we travel. So, the invitation is, choose well. Our decisions, the words we use, and our actions reflect who we truly are, what our values are and what our character consists of.

St. Paul tells us in Philippians that Jesus did not deem equality with God as something to be grasped at, so what happens? He says Jesus did something. He emptied himself, taking the form of a slave to save us from bondage. To liberate us, He showed his love to the point of death, even death on a cross. Jesus’ actions spoke louder than his words.

Jesus asks us in the Gospel reading, which of the two sons followed their father’s instruction? What was the answer? Actions speak louder than words. We all have a picture in our minds and hearts of who we are. The powerful question Jesus is reminding us to ask ourselves is: Do our actions reflect who we think we are? As we know, our world today is full of temptations and reckless behavior. In the name of freedom, our American culture presents a myriad of choices: some lead to life in the Spirit but sadly, many choices lead to death and destruction. There comes a time in life when we must say “no” to certain people or things and “yes” to other people or things in order to maintain the dignity we expect of ourselves and the self-worth God calls us to.

So, what does this mean as parishioners of St. David parish? Reflect on the fact that it is one thing to remember our baptismal vows, it is another thing to live our baptismal vows. If you are married, it is one thing to remember your wedding vows and it is another thing to live your wedding vows. For all of us, it is one thing to say we care about the poor and defenseless, the foreigner, the unborn to the elderly and every stage of life in between and it is another thing to be truly caring for the poor and defenseless through our actions. Here in the parish, it is one thing to say we are parishioners and another thing to be actively involved parishioners through our stewardship of time, talent and treasure. In all facets of life, it is good to consider whether our actions speak to who we think we are. Why is this so important? Faith, to be faith, must be practiced for: Actions speak louder than words.

Since our actions speak to who we truly are, St. Paul encourages us today in Philippians, “Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves.” That is perhaps the best advice for anyone who wants to be happy in this life. In conclusion, the summary of this Sunday’s Gospel reading could be that powerful quote attributed to St. Francis Assisi whose feast day is next week, “Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.”

God bless you!
Sr. Kathleen Fitzpatrick, IHM