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In today’s gospel, the first son, you have to agree, is not a hypocrite. He is being honest by saying that he flatly refuses to do any of God’s work. It is the second son that is the hypocrite. He is like a flower who has beautiful buds and blossoms, but bear no fruit. He is like those who pay lip service only, people who see others faults but not their own, whose mouth says one thing, but their heart goes another way.
Some of us fall into this category, myself included. We go to church faithfully, read the bible, say our prayers, etc. But when God asks us for help in His vineyard. We don’t say no but we never get around to helping, don’t get off our butts, come up with excuses, etc. On the day of judgment, those who don’t bear fruit will be weeded out. No place for them in heaven.
It is easy to fall into the trap of assuming that when we die we will magically end up in heaven just by wishing it upon ourselves. God will judge us by the fruit that we bear, by how much love is in our hearts and not by the words that come out of our mouths no matter how good they sound. Actions speak louder than words. We should never assume that we will automatically be saved. Instead we should continuously strive to improve ourselves in our relationships with God and with our brothers and sisters.
Read St. Paul’s letter in today’s second reading where he says “do nothing out of selfishness or vainglory, rather humbly regard others as more important than yourself, each looking out not for his/her interests, but also for those of others. Have in you the same attitude that is also in Christ Jesus who humbled himself that we might be saved.” We are all sinners and were it not for Jesus dying on the cross for our sins we would have no chance of ever going to heaven. What He asks of us is that we must show our love to Him and our brothers and sisters, helping each other on our way to heaven.
It seems to me that today, our catholic religion teaching and other Christian denominations have become softer and maybe more watered down. Rarely today do you hear a preacher or a pastor preaching hell and damnation as in times past. We know that our God is very loving and very forgiving, but let us not forget for a moment the very real presence of Satan and the fact that he will use our selfishness and laziness to turn us away from God, as he did with Adam and Eve. Let us stay focused on our goal of being with Christ in heaven, by reading our Bibles and daily praying to God for help and strength.

Lloyd Lapierre