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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Resentments have no Place. The Twenty-Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2020

                                                  Resentments have no Place.

The Twenty-Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2020

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September 20, 2020

Isaiah 55:6-9; Psalm 145; Philippians 1:20-27; Matthew 20:1-16



This parable messes with our concept our fairness and justice, and I don’t want to just say the trite message, “God’s ways are not ours.” This parable is telling us something about God’s invitations to us for eternal life. Rather than saying that those who have always been laborers are devalued, Jesus is telling us that God is accepting even late-comers into the Kingdom of Heaven. This passage is not an attempt to justify social justice or labor relations. It is an attempt to highlight that God’s sovereignty and graciousness is not based on what is earned.


This parable appears as Jesus enters into Jerusalem, the final stage of his ministry, and his language takes on greater urgency. He teaches his disciples about the last things, speaks about the judgment parables, and makes his third and final passion prediction as he is set to stand before the temple authorities. Jesus has revealed his intentions to found his church and tells his friends about the attitudes that must characterize it. With that done, he now prepares to enter Jerusalem where his mission will be fulfilled. This parable is the final instruction to the disciples about the attitudes needed to be included in his community.


The main message is the equality of all disciples in the reward of inheriting eternal life. We see this in the passage that follows when James and John petition to sit on the right and left of Jesus in his kingdom. The passage may have also be intended to tell the Gentiles that they have full equality in the kingdom even though it was first promised to the Jews. Jesus is telling them that it is not a group of people who inherit the kingdom, but rather it is one of attitude and disposition. For salvation, we do not have to do anything to merit it. It is given to us out of God’s gratuity.


The parable points out the difference between what is just and what is fair. When the landowner contracted with the first laborers at an agreed upon price, he acted justly when compensating them, and when the contractors agreed upon it, it was deemed fair. When it came time for payment, the landowner honored his commitment, and said, “I am not treating you unjustly.” The owner’s conduct showed no violation of justice, and that all the workers received the same wage is an attribute of his generosity. This is the virtue that we are to see, but what happens is that the earlier workers begin to resent their agreement. What is not an attitude or disposition for entry into heaven? Resentment, jealousy. What happens when we compare? We despair.


Jesus shows us that we can look at it in two ways: with gratitude for generosity because the ultimate goal has been attained, or we can mire into the baser human response of resentment, which only nourishes hate and anger. Our attitudes make all the difference. We have to be emotionally intelligent to see the great favor that we have and accept it with open hearts. Jesus will take care of the rest and we will have no worries because we will have eternal life with him.


Scripture for Daily Mass


First Reading:

Monday: (Ephesians 4) And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith.


Tuesday: (Proverbs 21) Like a stream is the king’s heart in the hand of the LORD;
wherever it pleases him, he directs it. All the ways of a man may be right in his own eyes,
but it is the LORD who proves hearts.


Wednesday: (Proverbs 30) Two things I ask of you, deny them not to me before I die: Put falsehood and lying far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches.


Thursday: (Ecclesiastes 1) All things are vanity! What profit has man from all the labor which he toils at under the sun? One generation passes and another comes, but the world forever stays.


Friday (Ecclesiastes 3) There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for everything under the heavens. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.


Saturday (Ecclesiastes 11) Rejoice, O young man, while you are young and let your heart be glad in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart, the vision of your eyes; Yet understand that as regards all this God will bring you to judgment.



Monday: (Matthew 9) As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.
While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples.


Tuesday: (Luke 8) He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”


Wednesday (Luke 9) Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.


Thursday (Luke 9) Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, “John has been raised from the dead.”


Friday (Luke 9) “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”


Saturday (Luke 9) “Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them so that they should not understand it.


Saints of the Week


September 20: Andrew Kim Taegon, priest, martyr, Paul Hasang, martyr, and companion martyrs (19th century), were Korean martyrs that began to flourish in the early 1800’s. The church leadership was almost entirely lay-run. In 1836, Parisian missionaries secretly entered the country and Christians began to encounter hostility and persecutions. Over 10,000 Christians were killed. Taegon was the first native-born priest while the rest were 101 lay Christians.


September 21: Matthew, evangelist and Apostle (first century), may be two different people, but we have not historical data on either man. Since Matthew relies heavily upon Mark’s Gospel, it is unlikely that the evangelist is one of the Twelve Apostles. The Apostle appears in a list of the Twelve and in Matthew’s Gospel he is called a tax collector. The Evangelist is writing to Jewish-Christians who are urged to embrace their Jewish heritage and to participate in their mission to the Gentiles. To Matthew, Jesus is the fulfillment of the hopes of Jews and the inaugurator of a new way to relate to God.


September 22: Tomas Sitjar, S.J. and the martyrs of Valencia (1866-1936), were killed in the Spanish Civil War just a week after the war broke out. Sitjar was the Rector of Gandia and was formerly the novice director and metaphysics professor. The Jesuit Order was suppressed at the beginning of the war, which sent the men to disperse into apartments, but since they were known to the community, they were sought out, imprisoned, and later executed because of their belief in God.


September 23: Pio of Pietrelcina, priest (1887-1968) was affectionately named Padre Pio and was a Capuchin priest who received the stigmata (wounds of Christ) just as Francis of Assisi did. He founded a hospital and became the spiritual advisor to many at a monastery at San Giovanni Rotondo.


September 26: Cosmas and Damian, martyrs (d. 287), were twins who became doctors. They were noted because they never charged anyone a medical fee. They died in the Diocletian persecution. Great miracles have been attributed to them and the Emperor Justinian is claimed to be healed through their intercession.


This Week in Jesuit History


·      Sep 20, 1990. The first-ever Congregation of Provincials met at Loyola, Spain, on the occasion of the 450th anniversary of the approval of the Society and 500th anniversary of the birth of St Ignatius.

·      Sep 21, 1557. At Salamanca, Melchior Cano wrote to Charles V's confessor, accusing the Jesuits of being heretics in disguise.

·      Sep 22, 1774. The death of Pope Clement XIV, worn out with suffering and grief because of the suppression of the Society. False stories had been circulated that he was poisoned by the Jesuits.

·      Sep 23, 1869. Woodstock College of the Sacred Heart opened. With 17 priests, 44 scholastics, and 16 brothers it was the largest Jesuit community in the United States at the time.

·      Sep 24, 1566. The first Jesuits entered the continental United States at Florida. Pedro Martinez and others, while attempting to land, were driven back by the natives, and forced to make for the island of Tatacuran. He was killed there three weeks later.

·      Sep 25, 1617. The death of Francisco Suarez. He wrote 24 volumes on philosophy and theology. As a novice he was found to be very dull, but one of his directors suggested that he ask our Lady's help. He subsequently became a person of prodigious talent.

·      Sep 26, 1605. At Rome, Pope Paul V orally declared St Aloysius to be one of the "Blessed." The official brief appeared on October 19.

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