September 20 - Twenty fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A : God’s generous mercy

September 20th, 2020

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First Reading  Isaiah 55:6-9
God's ways are far beyond the ways of human beings.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 145:2-3,8-9,17-18
God is near to those who call upon him.

 

Second Reading  Philippians 1:20c-24,27a
Paul tells the Philippians to live for Christ.

Gospel Reading  Matthew 20:1-16
In the parable of the workers in the vineyard, Jesus teaches about God's generous mercy.

Background on the Gospel Reading

In today's Gospel, Jesus moves from Galilee to teach in Judea where he is sought out by great crowds and tested by the Pharisees on issues such as marriage and divorce. Jesus also encounters a rich young man who is unable to accept Jesus' demand that he leave his possessions to follow him. Jesus' response to the rich young man sounds very much like the conclusion we will find in today's Gospel: the first will be last and the last will be first.

On the surface, the parable of the workers in the vineyard appears to be an offense to common sense. Those who work a longer day ought to be paid more than those who work just an hour or two. When viewed in this way, the landowner seems unfair. That is because we are reading into the parable our own preconceived notions of how fairness and equality should be quantified.

A close read shows us that the landowner paid on the terms that were negotiated. The landowner, it seems, has acted completely justly. The parable goes beyond that, however, and we come to see that the landowner is not simply just, he is exceptionally just. He is radically just. He has given those who labored in the field for a full day their due pay. But he has also given a full-day's wage to those who worked only a single hour. No one is cheated, but a few receive abundantly from the landowner just as we receive from God more than what is merely justifiable or due. God, like the landowner, is radically just and abundantly generous. The workers who complain are made to look foolish as they lament the fact that landowner has made all workers equal. Indeed, what more could one ask for than to be treated as an equal at work or anywhere else?

The parable reminds us that although God owes us nothing, he offers abundantly and equally. We are occasionally tempted to think that our own actions deserve more reward, more of God's abundant mercy, than the actions of others. But God's generosity cannot be quantified or partitioned into different amounts for different people. When we think that way, we are trying to relate to God on our terms rather than to accept God's radically different ways.

September 13- Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time :

September 12th, 2020

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First Reading
Sirach 27:30—28:9
Those who seek God's mercy must be merciful toward others.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 103:1-4,9-12
A song of praise to God who is kind and merciful.

Second Reading
Romans 14:7-9
We belong to the Lord.

 

Gospel Reading
Matthew 18:21-35
Jesus teaches that we must forgive one another as God has forgiven us.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Today's Gospel reading directly follows last Week's Gospel in which Jesus taught the disciples how to handle disputes and conflict within the Christian community. In today's reading Peter asks Jesus how many times one ought to extend forgiveness to another. Peter proposes a reasonable number of times, perhaps seven. Jesus replies by extending Peter's proposal by an enormous amount; not just seven times should one forgive, but 77 times. The parable of the unforgiving servant is Jesus' elaboration of his initial reply to Peter. Through the parable we come to understand the depths of God's mercy toward us and the results of our acceptance of God's forgiveness.

September 6 - Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time :

September 12th, 2020

August 30 - Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time :

September 12th, 2020

August 23 - Twenty first Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 12th, 2020

August 16 - Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 12th, 2020

August 9 - Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time :

September 12th, 2020

August 2 - Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time : Small is Great

September 12th, 2020

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First Reading  Isaiah 55:1-3
The Lord will renew his covenant with the descendents of David.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 145:8-9,15-18
The Lord provides for his people.

 

Second Reading Romans 8:35,37-39
Nothing can separate us from the love of God. 

 

Gospel Reading
Matthew 14:13-21

 

 

Today’s Gospel suggests that one person can make a difference. Or rather, two people can make a difference: one person and Jesus. When Jesus asked the boy for his meagre offering he trusted Jesus and gave him the little he had: the five loaves and two fish. The boy gave what he had to Jesus. And Jesus shared the boy’s gift with thousands. This is the good news of today’s Gospel: that if we share what we have with Jesus , no matter how small and insignificant it is, he can make it bear fruit beyond our wildest dream. Today’s Gospel tells us that if we offer our talents and gifts to Jesus for his work, he can perform miracles with them. 

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