A special thank you this week to our friends at St. Juliana’s Parish, Chicago, the Perales Family, and St. Joseph’s Parish, Libertyville in the congregation.

Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Growing up in a large family like I did, with only one and a half bathrooms was not always the easiest task and we of course, hard to believe, didn’t always get along. My parents worked hard though to provide for each of us. Even though we all appeared on the scene at different parts of their life at different stages or their life and I’m sure that they wanted to know equally, no matter when and how that they would provide for us and that they loved us and cared for us and they were trying their best to do what was right and fair for us. Yet, know that even as kids then, we often would cry out, “Well, that’s not fair.” We’d often say those words and those complaints when we would see others in our family getting more than what we had.

We might have shouted out that’s not fair even in our adult life as well in different ways. When we wished that life dished things out a little bit differently to us. Later in life, things happened to us and often times make us wonder and think about what it all means. The prophet speaks to us today from the first reading about God. Saying, “God’s ways, God’s thoughts are not always ours.” The gospel according to Matthew, makes us take a double take as well as we reflect upon our ways and God’s. It catches us by surprise doesn’t it when we hear Jesus telling this parable to the disciples about the kingdom of Heaven and the land owner who goes out at dawn to hire for his vineyard. He goes out at different times. Later on in the day. Each time equally calling them to respond to the needs of the vineyard.

To respond and not be idle, but to go and to work out there. He responds with compassion to their unemployment status. He sees that they must be employed. He ask them to go and they do. They receive the usual daily wage and yet, at the end, when that last one who worked late, who worked only perhaps a few hours or less, gets the same as the first. It doesn’t seen fair to that one and he complains, but God’s generosity is loving, is always available to everyone. No matter the time of the day, we approach God with a chance to always receive the compassion and love. We approach God who calls all of us out into that vineyard and he ask of us not to respond with jealousy towards one another, to his unconditional love, but to receive and respond with joy to one another. To respond to the needs of others, just as God does for us.

To respond with love. “Longing to be with Christ,” St. Paul says, “We should now conduct ourselves in a way that is worthy of the gospel.” As we hear these words today, let it form and shape our lives to respond to this generous God who is always available to us and calls us out to give and to share as he loves and shares with us.