To watch Fr. Joe’s homily for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
To watch Fr. Joe’s homily for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
Jesus, as we know, used stories to get his message across to people. Jesus wanted the people of his day, and the people of our day to live a life that reflects a life of a believer, a disciple of Jesus – the Son of God…
As one person has written, “Jesus did not tell parables (stories) as comforting bedtime stories. The stories of Jesus are meant to wake us up and give us a new perspective.” And this person goes on to reminds us, “the first sign that we are hearing Jesus’ message is that it makes us uncomfortable.”
And just maybe the ending of today’s Gospel might make us uncomfortable or defensive…
“No servant can serve two masters… we will either hate one and love the other; or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot give you self to God and mammon” (maman meaning wealth regarded as an evil Influence or false object of worship or devotion.) Put another way, do we live for Christ or for the world?
Sure, we live for Christ! More and more and more… or do we live for Christ when it suits my time and schedule, my wants and needs???
When we live for Christ and not the world, we recognize that GOD is GOD and we are not!
Father, we live for Christ when we go to church and communion every week, we say our prayers, obey the commandments, live the beatitudes, etc…
Very good Grasshopper, but what other choices of life challenge us to live for Christ???
- When we attend a church meeting are we listening to what God has to share with us today or are we thinking about what else we could be doing or zoning right out or sneakily giving our smart phone our undivided attention?
- When we are around our family and friends, even strangers, is our behavior that of a person of values and honor and faith, or something we don’t want our parents to know about?
- Is our life about helping others, especially those in real need, or is our life all about me, all about what I want, all about making my life comfortable?
On that note – as I was writing this last sentence, I received a text from a 28 year old who recognized me when I was on vacation recently. A person I last saw when he was 13 years old. I shared I would share this with him via text, how thoughtful it was for him to say hello, even though he may have been asking the wrong person. Gets you thinking how many people can we not only bring joy to for even a moment, by a hello, a kind word, an act of kindness, each and every day. Seems this is the thing of people of faith, people who live for Christ.
There is no doubt that we live in the WORLD… But one of those questions that just maybe needs to be on our minds often is as a person of faith, how can we/I… How will we/I… live for Christ today, tomorrow and every day.
To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
I would think that most of us think of ourselves as not having servants. But the truth is we have lots of servants: the cashier at the grocery store, the worker who picked the fruit you bought, the truck driver who delivers that package to our home, the person who delivers our newspaper, our mail, the person who unlocked the door to the church, the person who cleaned the church, the person who takes time – directly or indirectly to do any number of things or meet those many requests.
And just maybe we might be thinking that I serve the needs of others also – at home, at work, etc…
And yes there are times when we serve and times when we are served.
This weekend, Jesus the Humble Servant would have us center in on the opportunities that are part of our lives daily to be servant to one another and to others without counting the cost.
There is no doubt that the Disciples of Jesus loved Him! But they did not understand Him. His way of thinking was just too different. So when the words of Jesus were not enough, Jesus put his arms around a child.
Jesus showed in action who was important. In this case, a child. But the child represents us and all people.
We are loved by our God. All people are loved by God, not because we are important, not because we have potential… we are loved period!
The mission, the job if you will, of the Disciples was not to perform mighty deeds, but to share the love of God.
Put another way, Jesus picking up the child was a living teaching that loving others is the greatest service we can share with people. May the Eucharist we share in today and every week be that constant reminder from our God that we are loved by God and called to live lives of humble service and love with others this day and every day.23
The Scriptures that we hear every weekend are not just for a people thousands of years ago, they are also meant for us. It would be good for us to remember that Jesus used stories/parables to throw His listeners off balance. (And that means us sometimes)
These stories/parables of Jesus are meant to help people, “trip over their own-self righteousness and remind them of God’s sovereignty and sovereign freedom.”
When it comes to the THINGS of GOD, we are being warned about having 100 percent certitude, that we really know what God thinks and what God would do. We may be surprised!
Take today’s Gospel. I would guess that most people would say this vineyard owner was not fair with the workers, especially those who worked all day versus those who worked much less. Jesus in the story makes it a point to share that the first paid were the last to be hired, not the first hired/first paid and off they went without every knowing what the last hired were paid. There was a point to be made by Jesus and he made it.
But, as it often the case, there is a bigger lesson here, another layer if you will, about the goodness of God, the care of God, and not just the generosity of God.
What goes unsaid in this Gospel story today is the fact that not only the people who were working needed a job, but so did the people who were found “standing around idle all day.”
When the laborers respond to the question “of their Idleness” by saying, “no one hired us,” it was understood by anyone who ever stood in their position after being here all day, we’ve still got nothing with which to buy food for our children, our family.
The question lurking underneath this parable is: What is just?
For Jesus, it was more important that people’s needs for survival be taken care of than someone having the luck of landing a great job.
It certainly was a challenge to the early morning workers to hear this parable from Jesus and I think it is even a challenge to us, some 2000 years removed from Jesus telling the story.
Yet, the needs of people and their survival continue to be a challenge to us in our time in history.
Summing it all up; God is far more generous than we would ever expect. Generous with love, forgiveness, patience, mercy, life and eternal life.
Today’s Scriptures are meant to be more than a lesson for us to know and hopefully remember God’s generosity toward all. Today’s Scriptures are also an invitation to each of us as Disciples of Jesus to show the generosity of God, in the lives we live today.
In the hours and days to follow, how will we conduct ourselves in a way worthy of the Gospel of Christ? How is God asking us to express generosity in our lives as person, family and Parish?
Today throughout our country is Catechetical Sunday – Time set aside to THANK All the Catechists and Teachers who devote their lives to passing on the Gift of Faith.
Today is also a day that reminds us about the importance of learning what the essentials of our faith really are. The Faith: the teachings of faith are passed on to us beginning at home with parents, grandparents and caregivers. They are the first teachers through their words and also through their daily lives.
Parents and grandparents are the FIRST to pass on values that can be permanently implanted in the hearts of our children. But the truth is, we are ALL “Teachers of the Faith.”
Every day, we are all under surveillance by the real eyes in the sky: our children. No matter what we say, our children and others see what is really important in our everyday living.
In our First Reading today from the Prophet Amos, he addresses the people of his day who think they are good people of God. But the prophet challenges them to go deeper in the living of their faith.
This challenge by Amos to the people of yesterday is also a good challenge to us the good people of 2016. We too need to be reminded of what God asks of us, as “People of Faith” today and tomorrow.
The Gospel story today reminds us that there are people who work at doing evil much harder than they work at doing good. Jesus is not condoning the crooked schemer, rather the story by Jesus is meant to get the listener of yesterday and today to make the effort to do good, plan to do good as a person, family and Parish.
We plan for many things each day, week, each month. Plans for vacation, for hobbies, for sports, for so many things… What plans are we making for today, tomorrow, next week and beyond that reveal to others the importance of faith & God in our lives?
- Plans to reach out in kindness to a friend
- Plans to do an unrequested favor for someone
- Plans to reach out to a person in need
- Plans to pray together as a family at home, at Mass each week
Plans that continue to speak of our love of God, love of others and our growing as Faithful Disciples of Jesus today and everyday.
Every weekend, our God has a message for each of us His Disciples of 2016. Something to write down so we do not forget. So please do jot down these messages from God meant to be incorporated into our lives more and more and more. And it you forgot to bring paper and pen, do go to the parish website or app on Monday for my Sunday Homily.
1. Jesus reminds us to Be Trustworthy. To be reliable, dependable, honest, truthful, ethical and virtuous in our interactions with others and our daily actions of life.
2. Plan to do more Good… Plan to be a better Disciple of Jesus.
3. Pray. Pray for others for sure, for family, friends, the needy, etc… Pray also for yourself, not because prayer changes God’s will, but rather because prayer opens us up to God’s will.
May we always be People of Faith who continue to be role models to our children and to others each day of all that is good and all this is of God’s goodness.