Fr. Stan's 2020 "State of the Parish" Address
Rev. Stanley M. Moczydlowski, M.B.A., M. Div. (Fr. Stan)
September 26/27, 2020
26th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Today’s gospel is a simple one. One son tells his dad he’ll work in his vineyard but doesn’t. The other son says he won’t work in the vineyard but changes his mind and goes to work as his father asked. Jesus of course, in His telling of the story, affirms the second son. No surprise there. Which son are you?
Many of us believe (somewhat falsely, I think) that a truly holy life, a faithful life, a God-centered life, is a life in which we get nearly everything right. Very few mistakes. Few missteps. Few moral failings. Few sins. And maybe there is a little bit of truth in that. I don’t want to minimize the importance of doing the right thing day in and day out. That really wouldn’t make much sense.
However, I would argue that a person of deep and authentic faith is not one who is convinced that he or she is living a life substantially pleasing to God. Rather, a truly holy person, a truly faithful person is someone who continually recognizes one’s own need for conversion, one’s own need for transformation, one’s own need to be more, to love more, and to give more. A faithful person is one who never really feels he or she has reached the finish line - but always has more to go - and more to be.
A life of faith is not about remaining the same. It’s about being created anew each and every day. In a word, it’s about change - the kind of change brought about and founded on the realization that each of us can be and should be more than we were yesterday. It’s never too late.
You don’t like what you said to someone yesterday? Say something kinder today.
You don’t like how you treated someone yesterday? Treat that one better today.
You don’t like the resentment you felt yesterday? Find goodness in that person today.
You turned your back on someone in need yesterday? Reach out to someone today.
You said no to something God asked of you? Say yes... today and everyday.
Change. Not something to fear. Not something to dread. Rather, a gift from God that we would be wise to embrace.
One son said yes, but didn’t follow through. One son said no, but had the courage to change his mind - and faithfully chose to get on board with what his father had asked of him.