Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 24, 2017
Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 133

A Reading from the Gospel according to Matthew
Mt 20:1-16A

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o'clock,
the landowner saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.'
So they went off.
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o'clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o'clock,
the landowner found others standing around, and said to them,
'Why do you stand here idle all day?'
They answered, 'Because no one has hired us.'
He said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard.'
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
'Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.'
When those who had started about five o'clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
'These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day's burden and the heat.'
He said to one of them in reply,
'My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?'
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last."

Salesian Sunday Reflection
Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In today’s Gospel, Jesus talks to us about the Kingdom of heaven, where God’s generous mercy and goodness far exceeds our concept of justice. St. Francis de Sales notes:

When there is absolutely no human good to hope for, it is precisely then that God’s awe-inspiring mercy shines forth and surpasses God’s justice. God’s ways are not our ways. God would sooner work miracles than leave us without help. For this reason our Savior came to redeem us and deliver us from the tyranny of sin. The heart of our Savior is wholly filled with mercy and kindness for the human family.

God’s providence is wiser than what we are. We imagine we would feel better if we were on another ship. That may be, but only if we change ourselves! There is a real temptation to become dissatisfied and depressed about the world we have to live in. Truly we must not lose heart. God will never abandon us. It is we who abandon God.

If you are troubled you never want to leave God. An ounce of virtue practiced in adversity is worth more than a thousand pounds exercised in prosperity. We may be weak but our weakness is not nearly as great as God’s mercy toward those who desire to love God, and place all their hope in God. The problem is that all the nooks and corners of our hearts are cluttered with thousands of desires that prevent our Savior from giving us the gifts that He desires to shower on us.

We ought to be like the mariner who, in steering his vessel, always keeps his eye on the needle of the compass. We must keep our eyes open to correct our desires and have only one, that of pleasing God. Let our Lord reign in our hearts, as He desires. Then let us remain at peace, without hurry or fear in our hearts, and go on our little way. So long as we mean well and hold to our desire to love God, we are on the right track.

(Adapted from the writings of St. Francis de Sales)