Following Through with Our Words

Gospel Message & Recording

It is said that what we say will last a hundred years but what we do will last for a thousand. The idea is that what we do has more value that what we say.

In today’s Gospel Reading, taken from Matthew 28:28-32, Jesus tells a story about a father and his two sons. The first son is asked to work out in the field. He says, “yes.” But later, he decides not to go and work. The second son is also asked to go out and work in the field. He says, “no.” But later he decides to go and work. The idea behind this story is this: what we say has value only when it is given “life” by our actions. The first son said “yes,” but his words were rendered “dead” because he did not follow through. The second son, however, said “no” but his actions proved otherwise.

Words are important. Jesus is not expressing the notion that words don’t have value. Words encourage, build-up and help others. Words do have value. But they have greater value when backed-up by actions.

During the Holy Qurbana (Divine Liturgy) the “Words of Institution” are chanted by the Priest. Even though the Priest says the “Words” the bread and wine do not change into the Body and Blood of Christ. It is only during the time of the “Coming of the Holy Spirit” (Epiclesis) that the “action” of the Holy Spirit, that is, His coming down, changes the contents of the bread and wine to Body and Blood. In other words, the “Words” are not enough; it must be backed up by the “action of the Holy Spirit.” Similarly, our words must be backed up by our actions.

If we say we are going to do something, we should follow through and make sure that it gets done. For example, at work, or at home, if we say we are going to complete something within a certain time frame; we should be diligent to follow through and complete it. If we say we are going to clean the bathroom, kitchen or do the dishes, we should make sure that it gets done. Spiritually speaking, if we make a commitment not to get angry, or not to say hurtful things to others, we should try as hard as possible to follow through. In fact, the Lord is looking for people who follow through. Often, when we make a commitment with our words, God is observing us. The blessings of God are waiting for those who follow through. For example, if we make a commitment not to lie, God will immediately bring a circumstance into our life where lying is a very tempting option. If we stay committed to our words, then God will send a blessing that will enrich our life.

In conclusion, we should be true to our words by following through with them. When we do, our words have added value. Thus, we become not only speakers of the word but also doers of the word.