Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tuesday of the Third Week in Advent

Eddie Haskell was a subordinate character in the ancient television series Leave It to Beaver.  He acted as a foil to the main character Theodore, the Beaver.  Eddie was not really a bad boy, but he did enjoy mischief-making.  When his schemes were discovered, he would try to sweet-talk his way out of the trouble.  His manner differed decidedly from the innocent sincerity of the Beaver.  Although the two were not brothers, their different modus vivendi could be seen as similar to that of the two brothers in Jesus’ parable today.

Jesus is describing what God looks for in people.  He divides humanity into two groups, both of which are comprised of sinners.  Those in the first group, he says, make no pretensions about trying to please God.  They do whatever they wish but then come to repent of their selfishness.  The second group tries to fool God by paying Him lip service.  They end up falling far short of fulfilling their commitment.  Of course, it is the first group that pleases God. 

We must emulate its members.  The holiday season may test us in this regard.  We can get everyone gifts, go to church, and even donate to charity.  But this does not mean that we have pleased the Lord.  We need to change our focus.  We have to do what is right not to vaunt ourselves but to assist others in their need.  Only then will we be pleasing to God.