25th Sunday of the Year – A                                                                                                                                  


Dear friends in Christ,


                  In the past two weeks, we’ve reflected on how a Christian gives and receives fraternal correction, and how to offer and receive forgiveness. In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the landowner who hires laborers for his vineyard to show us the kind of labor relations that God has with us. 

                  In Jesus’ time, the Jews had the mentality that salvation could and must be earned simply by keeping the law and its commands. Jesus was strongly against that conception and said that nobody should think that he had earned his salvation or anything from God. He could only be grateful before him.     

In this parable, Jesus teaches grace and mercy and shapes our attitudes according to the truth that God’s gift of salvation is free.  The men in the parable who had worked all day believed that the men who had worked less than they would receive less. When seeing that all workers received the same amount, they got upset and cried “not fair.” The Landlord replied, “Are you envious because I am generous?” Justice is about merit, generosity is about need. These workers talked justice, but God talked generosity and mercy.

Theologians of all times had tried to reconcile God’s justice and his mercy. But St. Therese of Lisieux simply said, “God’s justice is his mercy.” God is just but he is also merciful. If God were strictly just to us we would all be in trouble. The good news is that God is more than just to us, he is generous. This is where our hope stands.

“My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways,” God said to Isaiah. Forever, let’s be grateful to God for his goodness, his love, and his mercy.

Fr. Joe