As we return to Ordinary Time, we hear of God’s great generosity. This idea begins in Isaiah as he tells his fellow Israelites who are in exile to “Seek the Lord” in whatever state you are in for our God is generous in his forgiveness. Isaiah is basically saying that We will eventually become free not because of all the good works we do but because God is generous, His ways are above our ways and his thoughts are above our thoughts. This is a message that still needs to be heard today, God welcomes all those who come. This idea carries on into the Psalm were we hear that “The Lord is near to those who call upon him” and that “The Lord is good to all and compassionate toward all his works.” Embracing this is our role in the world to show that God is there for everyone, not matter your religion beliefs God cares for you and wants great things for you.
Paul continues this idea in his letter to the Philippians, when he says that “Christ will be magnified in my body” in life or death. Paul is urging the listeners that we need to make ourselves like Christ and conduct ourselves in a manner like the Gospel. This reading has some added depth this week when we have so many people in the sports world not conducting themselves in accord with the gospel. Paul ends the reading today with although I wish to be with Christ my place is here for your benefit, as he is an example of Christ living in the world. That is what Christians are all called to be.As we turn to the Gospel reading this week we encounter the parable of the workers in the vineyard in Matthew.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out and got workers for his vineyard.” He went out at dawn and got some laborers for the daily wage and then around nine while he was out he noticed others and asked them to work for the daily wage, Then the landowner did it again around noon and three still offering a daily wage. Finally the landowner went out at five and saw some people still standing around and offered them a daily wage to work. At the end of the day the owner told the foreman to start with those who came in at five and give the daily wage, those who came earlier in the day expected they would receive more but they receive the same as those who came at five. The early ones grumbled about this saying “He’s cheated us” but the landowner replied that they had agreed on the daily wage and so had those that came later. Just because the owner is generous you are not to complain who he is generous to.
So this is the same with the kingdom of heaven, we are promised eternal life and it is there for anyone to accept at anytime, and it is not for us to complain who is holier. The cradle Catholics are the same as the converts and are the same as those who have lapsed in the eyes of God. This message is one that we need to remember more often. We can extend this with all the other religions and denominations as well God promises eternal life to all of his creation. Once again we see the generosity of God, God is willing to give us all what is promised to us. Let us during this week be able to bring this message out into the world.