This blog is dedicated to the promulgation of the one true Faith.
September 20, 2020
Daily Reading for Sunday September 20, 2020
Reading 1, Isaiah 55:6-9
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18
Gospel, Matthew 20:1-16
Reading 2, Philippians 1:20-24, 27
Commentary on Matthew 20: “The last will be first, and the first will be last.”
In yesterday’s readings we were reminded that God’s ways are above our ways. And indeed they are. As far, scripture says, as the heavens are from the earth. Many times we get caught up in the ‘why’ of our lives….we want to understand God’s ways. WE want to know HIS reasons, as though we –the created– could possibly understand such lofty matters. We are as far removed from God in intelligence as the fly is from us. Our Faith is what bridges the gap between what we can comprehend, and what we cannot comprehend.
Today in the Gospel reading we are told the paraable of the vinyard owner who hires workers at different times of the day, and after paying them all the same, must deal with the grumpy first-comers. Having toiled for the longest under the sun, they think that they are due more than the others who worked but a few hours. I have often struggled to understand this scripture. What can it possibly mean? the owner of the vinyard replies that he has given the agreed upon wage and he can do as he pleases with his monies, or properties, and the like. It can be reasonably understaood that this is true. But what is the ramification for us?
And this is not to suggest that it is better to put off the matters of faith until one’s death bed so as to pursue the life of the flesh without consequence. No. Reason tells us we cannot do this, as ‘no one knows the day or hour’ of their death. So the gamble is too great.
Yet in the same way, the reward for such diligence is also great. A human life is a gift, and the that life is worth living well. And as God has told us that he gives us no more than we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13), and that he will give us all we need (2 Thessalonians 1:2-12) , the strength of our faith tells us to persevere (Hebrews 12: 1-2), if not for God’s sake, then for our dignity’s (humanae vitae). [But our dignity as an individual is from, for, and wrapped up in God…but I digress. ] Let not our faith be like that of seeds sown on rock, or in briars, as in the parable of the Sower, (Matthew 13:20). Let us be courageous in living as our Savior was in his dying.
I think of it like this — some of us come to Christ and receive our wage (salvation) at an early age. Others arrive later, and still others, later, and sometimes even then only at death. For those who has been striving their whole lives to live the Catholic Faith– which is a very difficult task — to pursue virtue and despise the evil of the world — have had a much harder time of it than those last minute “Hail Mary’s”. But is the reward not the same?
*And in a side note, this is also why the catholic church has in the past supported the death penalty — because it is actually an act of mercy on the sinner to end their mortal life to PREVENT them from sinning MORE and meriting an even lower and more painful place in hell.
Ultimately, we must remain recollected, and remmeber our source; being “just a little lower than the angels” we are creations of the one true God. In a world of falsities, that means something.
Christ’s death purchased our redemption from original sin back to that creator, and that means something too.
And in regards to the wages paid — should we be like the early or late hire — whether we must labor long or little — it matters not! because it is not our stage, it is not our creation, and lo! even our lives are not our own, but belong to His Majesty.
This requires humility. It requires hope. But most of all it requires Faith anew…Faith full and deep, faith flowing like deep rivers which also originate from Gods hand at the beginning of all time. I ask myself, Why must I toil with such and such, while another seems to toil so little? Who can understand God’s ways? Not me, but I accept them, for this is the gift of faith, and Divine Providence supersedes me!