FIRST READING
You said, “A king shall reign over us,” when the Lord your God was your king (1 Samuel 12.12)
A reading from the Book of Judges (Judges 9:6-15)

At that time: All the citizens of Shechem came together, and all Beth-millo, and they went and made Abimelech king, by the oak of the pillar at Shechem. When it was told to Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and cried aloud and said to them, “Listen to me, you men of Shechem, that God may listen to you. The trees once went forth to anoint a king over them; and they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’ “But the olive tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my fatness, by which gods and men are honoured, and go to sway over the trees?’ “And the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come you, and reign over us.’ “But the fig tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to sway over the trees?’ “And the trees said to the vine, ‘Come you, and reign over us.’  “But the vine said to them, Shall I leave my wine which cheers gods and men, and go to sway over the trees?’ “Then all the trees said to the bramble, ‘Come you, and reign over us.’  “And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.”’

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 21:2-3.4-5.6-7(R.2a)
R/. In your strength, O Lord, the king rejoices.

In your strength, O Lord, the king rejoices;
how greatly your salvation makes him glad!
You have granted him his heart’s desire;
You have not withheld the prayer of his lips. R.

You came to meet him with blessings of prosperity;
you have set on his head a crown of pure gold.
He asked you for life and this you have given:
Days that will last from age to age. R.

R/. In your strength, O Lord, the king rejoices.

By your saving help great is his glory;
You have bestowed upon him majesty and splendour;
You have granted him blessings for ever,
Made him rejoice with the joy of your presence. R.

ALLELUIA Hebrews 4:12
Alleluia. The word of the Lord is living and active, discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Alleluia.

GOSPEL               
“Do you begrudge my generosity?”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 20:1-16a)

At that time: Jesus told his disciples this parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the labourers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place; and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing; and he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’  “They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ “He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ “And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the labourers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. And on receiving it they grumbled at the householder, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ “But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you, and go; I choose to give to this last as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ So the last will be first, and the first last.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

God gives great opportunities to all people, irrespective of age, gender, race, or nationality. Some authors interpret the Parable of the Landowner as God’s method of sharing grace, but St Augustine interprets it as God’s method of sharing eternal life with the righteous. he says: “At the end of the world all Christians, called at the eleventh hour, will receive the joy of resurrection, together with those who went before them… in that great reward, then, we shall all be equal – the first to the last and the last to the first for the denarius stands for eternal life in which all will have the same share.” In his radical generosity, God wants all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 timothy 2:4). Whatever we receive from God is not our entitlement but a privilege.

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