The readings and the Gospel from yesterday, the 26th Sunday in Ordinary time gave me a lot to think about. I had been thinking about them since I first read them, a week ago. (I often look ahead to the next Sunday on Monday.)
If you are reading this blog, there is a better than average chance that you are, like me, a church-goer. We are here week in and week out and in many cases, day in and day out. I have attended daily mass regularly many times in my life; that’s kind of how I ended up with this job, but that’s another story.
You may not know this about me, but I also did not go to church for many years. 18 years to be exact. That too is another story, but let it suffice to say that I stopped going to church in 1972 and did not return until 1990. And my return was not a planned (by me anyway!) action. In fact, far from it.
So when I hear this Gospel I can’t help but see myself at another time in my life and I was most definitely the one saying no – no vineyard work for me! And yet, here I am.
The beauty of the parables is that they speak to us in mystery to reveal truth. So I said no and then I “showed up for work.” That does not make me better – anything but. It just means I realized that not only was the vineyard there, but that I was welcome.
In Ezekiel, we hear hear the first line about fairness. Did that make you think of last Sunday’s Gospel? It did that for me! In any case, none of it seems fair and we are always reminded that God’s ways are quite different than our ways.
Not only are things not fair, we are also reminded, very much so in the second reading, about the essence of who Jesus Christ is! God as man, man as God – very astounding material and more so for the Philippians who first heard St. Paul’s words!
In hearing those words we must also realize that St. Paul is asking us, from a very deep place it seems, to “complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing.”
Jesus is humanity and divinity united and we are asked to be united and to be one in Him. This is no small task.
Today my prayer is to be at one with God’s people, to put others first, to serve and to do good. I pretty much start out each day, each week really, with such lofty goals.
Then I fall down.
What about you? Did anything in Sunday’s liturgy get your attention?
- Something else?