Father John Molina - September 24th, 2017
Reflection: We are people that praise and worship God. With the Holy Eucharist we celebrate the central mystery of our faith: “We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.” When we, as a community, humbly come and, recognizing our sinful condition, are able to bring to the altar of God our gifts, our life and struggles, our thanksgiving and fragility we praise the Lord. In His mercy, God is attentive to lowliness of our condition. As the psalmist says: “The Lord prepares a banquet for us.” We are fed also with the Eucharistic meal. The banquet prepared for us is at the same time an occasion to live the twofold commandment of loving God and loving our neighbour. Yes… as the community of the diverse, we come together. We share the table and we are set in God’s presence. We worship the Lord knowing that right after the celebration we are called to go back to the world, full of the presence of the Holy Spirit ready to share with the rest of humanity the gift of faith we have received. By being conscious of what we have received, we start a process of proclamation of the Good News we have received.
Father George Palamattam CMI
2O17 September 24
25th Sunday of the Ordinary Time
First Reading: Isaiah 55.6-9 “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near”
The Psalm 145 “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who on him in truth.”
Second Reading: Philippians 1.20-24, 27 “Live your life in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ”
The Gospel: Mathew 20.1-16 “Are you envious because I am generous?”
Divinely designed Equality
In today’s parable Jesus does not directly speak about kingdom values that need to surpass the righteousness of this world, which were followed by the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders of Jesus’ time, and perhaps the justice system of our times follows. According to such ‘standard’ procedures the workers in the vineyard are entitled to differential wages depending on the hours of work each one puts in. That is the way our world rewards workers. However, Jesus introduces a different standard. We are not totally alien to the standard of Jesus when we speak about family wages. It should mean, I believe, wages required to support the whole family. However, we do not find the practice of the concept of family wages. In our world today, the workers get wages only according to the standards established by the employer, and generally it depends on the hours of work one puts in. We do not come across the kind of generosity the landlord in today’s parable practices. In the justice system of Jesus and of his kingdom everyone gets according to one’s needs, not more, not less, and never according to anyone’s greed. Prophet Isaiah today adds to this message by presenting God’s ways, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Jesus speaks of the generosity of the landlord and his desire to do with his wealth whatever he prefers to do. He also points at the envy of the workers. Envy is not about one being deprived of one’s rights, but it is about the intolerance that some else has as much or more than what I have. People, including good and God-fearing Christians, like the idea of being unequal, that is, the other, my neighbor, can have only less than what I have; or I should always have more. That is, inequality has to be built into the system in order that I may have the feeling and position of superiority. For the worldly, wealth, possessions, power, position, fame, name, public adulation, etc., are the norms for superiority. Jesus teaches the opposite. For him poverty, humility, meekness, suffering, persecution, hidden works, etc., are values that make one great and a heir of the kingdom. For Jesus those who want to be the master should become the slave first, and those who seek life should opt for death. These are not values for us and hence we do not accept or follow them. To that extent we are away from the Kingdom.