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Sunday, September 20, 2020

A Homily - The Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

 

First Reading – Isaiah 55:6-9 ©

Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 144(145):2-3, 8-9, 17-18 ©

Second Reading – Philippians 1:20-24, 27 ©

Gospel Acclamation – Luke 19:38, 2:14

Alternative Acclamation – Acts 16:14

The Gospel According to Matthew 20:1 - 16 ©

 

(NJB)

 

The Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

 

 

Listen, and remember!

 

God is always near to us, God is present--even in the hearts of the wicked; with the loving God there is always the possibility of repentance, conversion, kenosis, metanoia.

 

It is wise to reflect on the notion that God, who created the universe and everything in it, that God has a deeper appreciation for the life of creation than we can possibly imagine from our position, conditioned by time and space and the exigencies of nature.

 

Be mindful of the way the psalmist speaks:

 

God, the creator of the universe, God is not a king, and know that God is present in all times and places, even in the deepest recesses of the human heart.

 

While God cares for us, God does not intervene directly in human events. The creator only issues an indirect influence over our lives. God’s power does not interfere with our freedom.

 

Contemplate the vast power of God and contemplate the ways of God’s love and mercy, God’s humility and compassion, the workings of God’s justice toward the benefit of all creation.

 

Be mindful of the works of the apostle, here he speaks like a contrarian, and that is fine; insofar as his motive is pure. However, his words are easy to misinterpret.

 

The apostle speaks about life in the flesh as a burden, though a happy burden if he is living as a servant of the Gospel; he speaks of eternal life with Christ as something he desires and something in which he expects the greatest joy, he speaks of this as his greatest reward, when he does so he is speaking in anticipation of his mortal demise, he is talking about death.

 

The apostle speaks as someone looking forward to the rewards of martyrdom, in so doing he is putting the cart before the horse.

 

He also calls it a good thing when corrupt preachers teach the gospel even if they do so from impure motives, believing that it is good insofar as they are spreading the fame of Christ.

 

This is misguided, and there is a lot in this words that are suspect.

 

Be mindful!

 

Walk humbly, love justice, act with mercy and compassion all the days of your life.

 

This is the walk of faith, which means trusting in the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

Know that God is not concerned with glory. Jesus is not interested in having a name above all other names. God is not a king and Jesus is not a prince, God is our loving parent and Jesus is our friend and brother.

 

When you preach to the people, just as when you stand before God, do not worry about beowing and scraping, just confess the truth that God is Love.

 

Remember!

 

The creator of the universe does not wear a crown, and we are not seek glory as we struggle on the way toward salvation. Following Jesus we are meant to seek out the lowest of the low, not the highest heaven, seeking to serve those in the deepest dark and return them to the light of love.

 

When you are in the darkness God will hear you, God is with you.

 

Consider the Gospel reading for today.

 

This parable represents the true teaching of the church.

 

It is one of the most commonly repeated themes, it is a message to every person who would claim to be a follower and teacher of the way.

 

If you follow the teaching of Jesus you will be rewarded; you receive your reward through the simple act of following. By keeping to the way, you bring Heaven to earth.

 

The way is not toilsome, though it may require a lifetime of work; the way is gift that when received, is shared with others.

 

In following the way, we do not layup treasures in Heaven; we do not amass wealth, privilege or honors. Such concerns do not belong to the way.

 

God, the creator of the universe rejoices and gives the same blessing to the first as God does to the last.

 

In the eyes of God, the bishop is the same as the priest, the priest the same as the parishioner, they merely have different duties, they are each beloved by God, just as the sinner is loved in equal measure to the saint.

 

 

First Reading – Isaiah 55:6-9 ©

 

My Thoughts Are Not Your Thoughts

 

Seek the Lord while he is still to be found, call to him while he is still near.

 

Let the wicked man abandon his way, the evil man his thoughts.

 

Let him turn back to the Lord who will take pity on him, to our God who is rich in forgiving; for my thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways not your ways – it is the Lord who speaks.

 

Yes, the heavens are as high above earth as my ways are above your ways, my thoughts above your thoughts.

 

 

Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 144(145):2-3, 8-9, 17-18 ©

 

The Lord is close to all who call him.

 

I will bless you day after day

  and praise your name for ever.

The Lord is great, highly to be praised,

  his greatness cannot be measured.

 

The Lord is close to all who call him.

 

The Lord is kind and full of compassion,

  slow to anger, abounding in love.

How good is the Lord to all,

  compassionate to all his creatures.

 

The Lord is close to all who call him.

 

The Lord is just in all his ways

  and loving in all his deeds.

He is close to all who call him,

  who call on him from their hearts.

 

The Lord is close to all who call him.

 

 

Second Reading – Philippians 1:20-24, 27 ©

 

Life to Me Is Christ; but Death Would Bring Me More

 

Christ will be glorified in my body, whether by my life or by my death. Life to me, of course, is Christ, but then death would bring me something more; but then again, if living in this body means doing work which is having good results – I do not know what I should choose. I am caught in this dilemma: I want to be gone and be with Christ, which would be very much the better, but for me to stay alive in this body is a more urgent need for your sake.

 

Avoid anything in your everyday lives that would be unworthy of the gospel of Christ.

 

 

Gospel Acclamation – Luke 19:38, 2:14

 

Alleluia, alleluia!

 

Blessings on the King who comes, in the name of the Lord!

 

Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heavens!

 

Alleluia!

 

 

Alternative Acclamation – Acts 16:14

 

Alleluia, alleluia!

 

Open our heart, O Lord, to accept the words of your Son.

 

Alleluia!

 

 

The Gospel According to Matthew 20:1 - 16 ©

 

Why Be Envious Because I Am Generous?

 

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner going out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard. He made an agreement with the workers for one denarius a day, and sent them to his vineyard. Going out at about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place and said to them, “You go to my vineyard too and I will give you a fair wage.” So they went. At about the sixth hour and again at about the ninth hour, he went out and did the same. Then at about the eleventh hour he went out and found more men standing round, and he said to them, “Why have you been standing here idle all day?” “Because no one has hired us” they answered. He said to them, “You go into my vineyard too.” In the evening, the owner of the vineyard said to his bailiff, “Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last arrivals and ending with the first.” So those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came forward and received one denarius each. When the first came, they expected to get more, but they too received one denarius each. They took it, but grumbled at the landowner. “The men who came last” they said “have done only one hour, and you have treated them the same as us, though we have done a heavy day’s work in all the heat.” He answered one of them and said, “My friend, I am not being unjust to you; did we not agree on one denarius? Take your earnings and go. I choose to pay the last comer as much as I pay you. Have I no right to do what I like with my own? Why be envious because I am generous?” Thus the last will be first, and the first, last.’

 

 

The Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)




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