for Sunday, September 24, 2017
How can someone who works the whole day be paid the same as someone who only worked an hour or less? God keeps on demanding of us that we recognize His mercy and His love. Do we want salvation for others, even if they have only converted at the last moment? If we don't, then there is something wrong in the way that we love others.
The first reading today comes from the Prophet Isaiah. Today he tells us: "Seek the Lord while he may be found, call him while he is near." And the Prophet reminds us that God's way are not our ways. These are two important points that help us understand just a bit how God is toward us. The Lord is always near but we don't always feel that way. The Lord can always be found, but we don't spend the energy. To walk with God will cost us our life - and we are often not entirely committed to that walk with the Lord. But God loves us always because His ways are not our ways. If we have a friend who is just with us and for us part of the time, we would normally not consider that person a very good friend. Yet God in Christ Jesus is willing to call us brothers and sisters and friend and beloved - even when we reject Him.
The second reading is from Saint Paul's Letter to the Philippians. Saint Paul tells us first about his own experience of giving himself for others. Then he reminds us: "Conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ." We are brought back once more to face ourselves as we are before God. Do we live in a way that manifests God's love for others? Do we have mercy on others? Do we pardon others even if they continue to seek to harm us? This is strong teaching.
So we come to the Gospel from Saint Matthew. What an incredible parable! This is Jesus teaching us about the Kingdom of God. God will continue to invite us over and over throughout our whole life. God never tires of asking us: "Will you come and work in my vineyard?" We can't really believe that God is so good because we ourselves are often no so good. But God is not a human being! God is God and has his own ways and His own thoughts. God loves us eternally and is always willing to forgive us and to show us mercy.
We are invited today to know more about how God loves us and then to live that same kind of love with one another. Truly it is the only way to salvation and the only way that our world will ever come to live in peace. Let us walk with Jesus and live as He lived.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Isaiah 55.6-9
Second Reading: Philippians 1.20-24, 27
Gospel: Matthew 20.1-16
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: