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Thursday, 8 January 2015

Reliable People

When I was in college a million years ago, there was a girl who was late for every class. All the students knew this and all the teachers. She was reprimanded by many of the instructors, but these corrections did not change her habit.

She got a job and was late constantly and fired. Whether she had a psychological problems, or merely bad habits, we who knew her never discovered.

I have met people since then, who are not reliable. If one makes a date to meet them, they are very late or do not show up for no serious reasons.

One states he will take one to the store and does not, always promising to help with shopping, but never does.

Another states she will have friends over for dinner, stating again and again, this will happen, and it never does. Another one tells his friends he will help out with a task and he never shows up. Sometimes, a person is so full of anxiety that that person cannot even manage his own life, much less be involved with others. Sometimes, people create a world of deceit about what one can and cannot do. Another may merely be so caught up in the self, that others simply do not orbit into the self-contained world.

I have been thinking of these human failings on a larger level. Christ gave us a parable concerning this type of person.

Matthew 21:28-32Douay-Rheims 

28 But what think you? A certain man had two sons; and coming to the first, he said: Son, go work to day in my vineyard.
29 And he answering, said: I will not. But afterwards, being moved with repentance, he went.
30 And coming to the other, he said in like manner. And he answering, said: I go, Sir; and he went not.
31 Which of the two did the father's will? They say to him: The first. Jesus saith to them: Amen I say to you, that the publicans and the harlots shall go into the kingdom of God before you.
32 For John came to you in the way of justice, and you did not believe him. But the publicans and the harlots believed him: but you, seeing it, did not even afterwards repent, that you might believe him.

This Gospel has been quoted many times under the papacy of Pope Francis, but Christ's words have been misunderstood.

Christ refers to conversion here in these words. He is not stating that sinners enter heaven, but that they repent, late in the day, perhaps, but they do not say one thing and do another.
Notice verse 32, the "publicans and harlots believe him", which means they repented.
Those so-called faithful Jews did not repent, even though they had the Prophets and teachings of the Scriptures from which to know Who Christ Is.

The Father's Will is what? Helping in the vineyard....this is hard work and one must be reliable in order to work in a vineyard as a laborer. We are all called to do this work, which is that of evangelizing, planting, caring for, gathering in the harvest.

Reliable means that one can be trusted, has good and consistent behavior

One is true, solid, genuine, and dependable if one is reliable. God can trust that sort of person.
But, without grace, none of us are reliable. Humbly, one must ask God to be purified in order to be genuine. I have also discovered through teaching that the reliable ones have a good work ethic, good work habits, and discipline. But reliability also means being focused on a goal and our goal is eternal life with God.

The spiritual life demands the same care, which is the meaning of Christ's words for us 
in Matthew's Gospel.

God created us to be responsible, realiable people and the Church needs such types. Being a good Catholic is not easy, and in fact, a daily challenge.

The key to being trustworthy has to do with being an integrated, truthful person, willing to face one's own limitations and sins.

One cannot do this without God's grace and the community of the Church. We might find ourselves in a situation where being reliable means standing up for the Faith in the most trying of circumstances.

I have just spent a day with reliable people, those who take responsibility for their spiritual life and who love God first.  What a treat. And, what a treat to know a couple like this. Rare gifts.