Theme of the Sunday: God Does Not Think the Way People Do. The message of the gospel today may confuse us. This would be a good sign because it would mean that we realize how our thoughts are different from God’s. The first reading puts us on our guard against trying to pull God down to our level, pretending that his thoughts are our thoughts. But his thoughts are as far from ours as heaven is far from the earth. In the second reading we are given the example of Paul. He did not work for a reward, though he knew that he had worked harder than anybody else (1Cor15:10). His reward was the, ability to love what God gave him.
I am the salvation of the people, says the Lord. Should they cry to me in any distress, I will hear them, and I will be their Lord forever.
O God, who founded all the commands of your sacred Law upon love of you and of our neighbour, grant that, by keeping your precepts, we may merit to attain eternal life. Through our Lord. ..
“My thoughts are not your thoughts.”
A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 55:6-9)
Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm145:2-3.8—9.17-18 (R.18a)
R/. The Lord is close to all who call him.
I will bless you day after day,
and praise your name forever and ever.
The Lord is great and highly to be praised;
his greatness cannot be measured. R.
The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
slow to anger, abounding in mercy.
How good is the Lord to all,
compassionate to all his creatures. R.
The Lord is just in all his ways,
and holy in all his deeds.
The Lord is close to all who call him,
who call on him in truth. R.
“For to me to live is Christ.”
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians (Philippians 1:20c-24.27a)
Brethren: Christ will be honoured in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If it is to be life in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me. Yet which I shall Choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Only let your manner of life be worthy of the Gospel of Christ.
The word of the Lord.
Alleluia. Open our hearts, O Lord,that we may listen to the words of your Son. Alleluia.
“Do you begrudge my generosity?”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 20: 1-16)
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 1 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.
The parable of workers in the vineyard may not fit into the ideal working conditions of the business world. In the ideal business world, each is employed and rewarded according to the length of labour and probably, years of experience. But in the language of heaven, the pay is not based on the length of labour and energy but on grace. Those who started the faith early and have lived it for years and those who have come to the faith very late or towards the end of their years of life on earth, the lord rewards all equally. He rewards each out of a heart of care: mercy is shown to the latecomers, a full wage; justice is shown to eager workers, a full wage. Our life in God is a demonstration of God’s care and grace.