Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
God does things differently from the way we would do them on our own. Jesus’ salvific death and resurrection gives us the grace to think and acts as God does. In the first reading the prophet Isaiah tells us that God’s thoughts are not like our human thoughts and his ways are not like ours. The parable in the Gospel is a perfect example. Our human version of justice is often bluntly “tit for tat.” The laborers who are hired at the beginning of the day for a day’s wage expect more when they see that those who were hired at the end of the day receive a full day’s wage. When they too receive only the day’s wage to which they originally agreed, their sense of tit-for-tat justice is offended. Clearly the “thoughts” of the owner of the vineyard are not the “thoughts” of these workers. His reply to those who are complain about his actions is unanswerable: “I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? … What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?” God’s justice is by no means tit-for-tat. He gives us far more than we could ever offer him in return. All we have comes from him. The good which we do we are only capable of because of his grace. And all of us need his mercy, however “good” we might judge ourselves to be. Happily, as Isaiah also says, God “is generous in forgiving.” Instead of being envious of God’s mercy to others, all of us should give thanks that he is merciful to all. We should seek, as St. Paul did, to magnify Christ in our lives by following his example of serving God and our neighbor rather than ourselves.
Parish Question for Reflection:
Am I aware of how much I need God’s mercy? Can I think of people of whom I have been envious because of God’s goodness to them?
May we members of this faith community of St Thomas the Apostle always strive to think and act as God does in our interaction with others.