Saturday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time ‘c’
Some time ago, I had a conversation with a mother of two grown-up children. She came to me to ask for some advice about their son and daughter who stopped going to church, and basically stopped practicing their faith. She said that she prays for them daily, keeps reminding them about the importance of practicing the faith, and about passing our faith to the next generations. However, even her one-year-old grandson wasn’t baptized. I know that it is very hard for her -- the mother-- to accept all this Well, all she can do is to pray for them and give an example of her good Christian life to her family, hoping that one day they might come back to their faith. But when I asked her if, when she was younger and her children were in school, she was as devoted to her religious practices as she is today. She answered that she was too busy with work, and with taking care of home and her family. So, she didn’t pray often nor went to church back then. She came back to her faith later in life. Her growing up children didn’t witness their mother practicing their faith, and they never were taught that it was something important, so now they do exactly the same thing. Here is what Jesus telling us in the gospel reading today when he talks about the Pharisees: “for they preach but they do not practice.” Simply, we can’t expect others to listen to our advice if we ourselves don’t practice what we preach.