Micky and Cindy at the Sunday Sessions at Arana Leagues Club. Today with Vic Kenna
Roman Catholic Reflections
Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year A – Sunday, September 20, 2020. (EPISODE: 252)
Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year A –
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Readings for 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time - A
FIRST READING: Isaiah 55:6-9
Psalm 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18. "The Lord is near to all who call him."
SECOND READING: Philippians 1:20c-24, 27a
GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (cf. Act 16:14b). Alleluia, alleluia! Open our hearts, O Lord. To listen to the words of your Son.
GOSPEL: Matthew 20:1-16a
Image Credit: Shutterstock Licensed ID: 556563751. the group photographed while picking grapes on the 23 of February 2010 in Robertson, South Africa. By LongJon
Please listen to the audio recordings of the Mass – including readings, prayers and reflections for the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year A - Sunday, September 20, 2020 by clicking this link here: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-ordinary-25a-episode-252/s-vuHyWSCcEfF (EPISODE: 252)
Prologue: [ some of the gospel values that shine out this weekend is the universal brotherhood and sisterhood of all humans; and also, God is generous and loving and gives people what they need. meanwhile, Envy and resentment are corrosive in any community"].
When people are deciding what activities to put their energies and priorities into, it seems a familiar thing to ask the question....."What's in it for me?" ...... "What will I get out of this?" However, this doesn't work for everyone.
In our world, there are many people who are severely disadvantaged and in need. And all things are sadly not equal. In a world where far too many people only receive something if they can give something of equal value back, there are those who are in a dire situation; because they are so poor; so disadvantaged, that they cannot benefit anyone else – They have nothing valued by others –(in a monetary sense), that they can give, and so they miss out.
They do not fit into a system based on near-equal "give and take" - and so are left dangling precariously on the edge.
In the midst of the ongoing crisis of the covid-pandemic, I heard someone on the news the other week
.."After all, we are not merely an economy, we are a community," ....
That is a very timely reminder!....
Jesus went out to the margins and searched for these people and made special effort to ensure that they too were very much included in his Kingdom. This is what the generous landowner is doing. The workers who were left without any day's work, at the eleventh hour, (still a term we use today), these people still needed to eat, and feed their family. If no one employed them that day, they and their families would have gone without a day's food. The landowner knew this and was compassionate and kind. He also knew that his harvest is urgent and plentiful and the labourers few, so he gave them what they needed -- a day's food. Not that they 'earnt' a day's pay, but that they NEEDED a day's pay – living as they were on just enough to get them by, one day at a time. And in any case, when it comes to God's gifts, none of us have really EARNED God's favour and love, it is freely and generously given and it is offered to all.
Jesus wants us to have that same generosity and welcome to others around us. They too are welcome because God is loving, forgiving and generous to them too, just as God treats us.
What a wonderful and quite revolutionary attitude. A world-changing attitude.
The grumbling workers have lost sight of the point. The work of the Kingdom is urgent and important, and the labourers are very few, the harvest plentiful… in fact, it's more than plentiful…. The harvest God intends is that everyone (absolutely everyone) be included as part of God's kingdom…. so there is no time for hesitation…. Everyone is needed……... all are called….
How many of life's daily hurts, disappointments and turmoils really come from the fact that we have harboured wrong assumptions, unreal expectations and flawed ways of thinking? …… How many arguments have resulted from envy and resentment and not from true need?
To summarise this gospel… a writer once said…. "the world asks, HOW MUCH did the landowner give? But Jesus invites us to ask a much better and far more important question: "WHY did the landowner give as he did?"
The answer is, because God is generous and caring. Are we, as the parable asks, envious because our God is extremely generous? Surely, God can deal as he wants with his own. Why cannot give to people what they need, not what they deserve.
God gives us what we NEED, not so much what we WANT, (and often, - to be honest-, there is a huge difference between wants and needs). And Jesus asks us to do the same for others. This parable invites us to see not with the eyes of a day labourer who, in this example, has no real concern for the project they were working on, but rather to live an invested partner; embracing and owning the vision of the landowner, who wants to achieve a rich harvest and share it with everyone.
25th - Sunday Ord Time - Year A – Homily by Fr Peter Dillon:
A Rabbinic story is told of a king who went to his vineyard and was im-pressed by the industri¬ous¬ness of one of his workers in par¬ticular. He gave him the day off after two hours. The other workers who had to complete their 12 hour day complained when he got the same pay at the end of the day. The King an¬swered: 'But he did more in 2 hours than you did in 12!
This story makes sense to us. We see some justifica¬tion for it. However, in today's Gospel Jesus tells a different story. His is not about MERIT but about GRACE (God's generous love). This is the hallmark of the kingdom of God.
The rather challenging message is that we will not enter the kingdom of God by in¬sisting on our rights and merits but only by relying on God's free gift of grace. This might appear disappointing to someone who can claim that they have never missed a Sunday Mass and said the Rosary every day. Could it be that God might offer the same reward to those who never darken the door? The issue is with the word "reward". Salvation is not the prize for a good effort, but a gift better appreciated by those who have maintained a close connection with God each day of their lives. Like all relationships; if we don't nurture and encourage it then is offers little or no satisfaction. The reward, if we insist on using that term, is that the faithful worker has had the benefit of the closeness of God throughout their life and not at the last minute.
This richness of this parable is that it may be read and understood on three different levels.
1) the words and actions of the historical Jesus - Jesus teaches how God offers the mystery of the kingdom to all freely and not ac¬cording to what people de¬serve.
2) the church's life at the time of Matthew's community: Church is dealing with the resentment of some members in the mixed Christian community of southern Syria and Palesti¬ne, where Jewish Christians often looked down on the Gentile Christians. (the Johnny-come-latelies, not as deserving)
3) the framework in which it is placed by the author of the Gospel. Its setting here is the paradoxical re¬versal of values that the coming of God's kingdom brings to life. The last, the persecuted, the des¬pised, the outcasts, the ones that appear unworthy and without merit, become the first to receive the reward of God, the treasure of heaven.
The apparent unjust action of the landowner is meant to shock us into a deeper awar¬eness of God's goodness - and to effect a change in our own attitudes:
Albert Camus said: 'Too many people have decided to do without generosity in order to practise charity'.
The God of surprises: An unpleasant surprise for the workers who were hoping to get more. Pray that we will be able to appreciate the paradoxical reversal of values that the coming of God's kingdom brings to life.
The standard of natural justice is violated by this parable. Natural to assume that those who work longer hours should be paid more than those who work for shorter hours.
In fact this is the basic principle used in wage fix¬ing. However, the parable converts natural justice to generosity on the part of the landowner who decides to pay those who work shorter hours the same pay at the end of the day as those who worked the full day. God's generosity is incomprehen¬sible and can create a state of envy in those who claim they have their rights. No one has any right over God's generosity, it is a free gift. It is because of the gratuity of God that all of us are able to be the children of God. Comparisons only lead to competition which in turn prevents us from acknowledging our thanks for even being considered in the first place. In our competitive world, the parable serves as a powerful lesson for us to learn how God does not want us to be towards each other.
This Parable makes little sense in an age of arbitration, contract labour and industrial awards. It de¬stroys the principle of 'A fair day's work for a fair day's pay. Remember this is a parable, a story which is intended to tell us some¬thing about the coming reign of God. God is not bound by the quid pro quo rules of recompense. God's gifts are spontaneous, overflowing and unmerited. We cannot earn our salvation; we cannot make a watertight contract which predetermines the conditions of the award. We cannot ex¬clude others who do not share our contract. Salvation is a gift from God, given freely, sponta¬neously and generously. Per¬haps we can see ourselves in the labourers hired at dif¬ferent times during the day. At times we are only there 'by the skin of our teeth', aware that God's love and mercy is the only important reality. Our anxiety about our salvation must be re¬placed by an attitude of trust and reliance on God's mercy and forgiveness. Isa¬iah reminds us of the diffi¬culty of challenging the ways of the Lord:
'Yes, the heavens are as high above the earth as my ways are above your ways, my thoughts above your thoughts.'
All that we can do is 'seek the Lord while he is still to be found', dedicating ourselves to living always in his presence.
Homily: Fr Peter Dillon
Prologue: Fr Paul W. Kelly
Have you ever wondered what listening to a person who loves 1965-1975 so much, he still lives there would be like??
Your questions are answered with the always smooth, always mellow, always intriguing Steve Twomey.
He reviews his favourites while introducing to some of his brilliant new Music!!
Well worth the Listening!!