We are all hypocrites.
Most of us say one thing and do another.
I say, “I value diversity,” but my friends happen to all be white.
I say “I value other cultures,” yet I give up on learning Spanish in the hope that the people I’m accompanying can just understand English.
I say “I value the poor and the burdens they carry,” yet I spend $4 on an experience of a cup of coffee and a subscription to Hulu Plus instead of taking the time to enjoy a simple breakfast with someone in need of friendship.
Much of my life has been spent reflecting on the reasons why my thoughts and actions do not line up to God’s will.
It would be easy for me to point the finger at both brothers in the Gospel story for not being people of integrity: one said he would but didn’t, the other didn’t say but did. Instead, I turn to Jesus who is pointing out a cultural deficiency: our pride, honor, reputation can serve as a barrier to God’s will.
In the beginning, middle, and end it is not about you. It’s not about who’s right or wrong, who’s better or worse, who gets the work done or doesn’t. It’s not even about our comfort zones, safe spaces, or brave spaces.
It’s about us living together unintimidated by what separates us.
As a person seeking a faith that does justice, I need to reach out to others because Jesus did. And his example amplifies God’s grace in the world. I want to be able to gaze at one another’s humanity—flawed, imperfect, joyful, and unique—as God gazes upon our single, most precious life, and love and serve that life into community.
Jocelyn A. Sideco is a retreat leader, spiritual director and innovative minister who specializes in mission-centered ministry. She directs the Community Service and Social Justice office at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, Calif., prays at St. Agnes Church, blogs for NCRonline.org, and consults with organizations like the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Visit her online ecumenical ministry, In Good Company, at ingoodcompany.net.co or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.