Gospel Reflection for the 25th Sunday Ordinary Time Year A – September 21st 2014
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on our parish website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
Now 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.’
This is a strange story about people being paid a lot for doing little. About idlers rewarded. People are paid the same at the end of the day as if they worked all day.
The key is in the last line…I give what I want…God’s ways are not our ways. But more – about the generosity of God delighted to give fully to everyone. And Jesus gets his message across with a story that has us asking questions all the time. God is generous with his love. Even at the worst of times. When we feel the worst, we may know the best of God.
He felt really good that they all had enough for the day. That’s all he ever promises. So much of modern thought that gets popular is about the now…live in the now. Catholics can get stuck in the past with guilt, and always looking for a better life later. The now is all we have now of God. God gives his love fully in the now without conditions.
God always seems to live in the now. In the desert he gave enough for the day, and no more. Our problem can be that we always want to get more – and the parable today is that we get enough for a day at a time. This is the wisdom of any good spirituality; and if we live that way for one day, we can live the next. For the next day is always the now, nothing more nothing less.
“One day at a time–this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.”
Donal Neary SJ