Sunday, September 24, 2017

“The weapons of divine justice are blunted by the confession and sorrow of the offender.”

Nothing can tend so much to humble us before the mercy and justice of God as the consideration of His benefits and our own sins. Let us, then, consider what He has done for us, and what we have done against Him; let us call to mind our sins in detail, and His gracious benefits in like manner, remembering that whatever there is of good in us is not ours, but His, and then we need not be afraid of vainglory or of taking complacency in ourselves... - Francis of Assisi: (1182 –  1226: was an Italian Roman Catholic friar, deacon and preacher.)

Gospel Text: (MT 20:1-16A)
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o'clock,
the landowner saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.'
So they went off.
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o'clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o'clock,
the landowner found others standing around, and said to them,
'Why do you stand here idle all day?'
They answered, 'Because no one has hired us.'
He said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard.'
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
'Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.'
When those who had started about five o'clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
'These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day's burden and the heat.'
He said to one of them in reply,
'My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?'
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last."

How would you feel if you found out that some new people at your workplace received a bigger check for the same job you are doing?   It rankles if we find out, and sometimes we feel resentful, angry, and upset.   Although we know we should be grateful to have a job, we seem to lose some of our enthusiasm for our work because we feel cheated.

It is sometimes difficult to realize the depth of God's love for mankind.  We cannot measure His unmerited love for us though we can make a strong commitment to His Son, Jesus Christ.  Those who have been faithful must not feel jealousy or pettiness because latecomers receive full gifts of eternal life.  We must rejoice that new souls have accepted Him as their Savior, knowing that in a small way, we were an example, steady in allegiance, loyal and constant in own belief and trust in Him.   

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