Gospel Meditation

September 20, 2020
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

If I work for five hours, I expect to get paid for five hours. If I work for two, I expect to get paid for two. What if we worked for a company that paid everyone the same amount regardless of how long they worked? How would we feel going home with the same pay for working eight hours as my co-worker did for working only two hours? Secular wisdom would have a huge problem with this and a visit to the Labor Board would quickly pursue. But this is God’s wisdom and God’s ways.

We sometimes think that if we pray more, better, or more fervently and go over and above with the practice of our faith, God will somehow reward us and present us with some kind of merit badge. We are so wrong. Spiritual practices have only one true purpose: to deepen our love for God. In deepening our love for God, we also increase our ability to see God’s presence around us, living life more purposefully and contemplatively. What if God chooses to treat someone who has come on the scene of faith later in life the same as someone who has devoted their whole lives to it? Does it really matter? If we have the merit badge notion of faith, we can find ourselves feeling a little arrogant and even jealous of folks who have not followed the same path that we have. We can even see ourselves as the privileged few who have a corner on the faith and fully possess it.

That thinking doesn’t square with God. God is all about mercy in abundance and is ready to take anyone to himself regardless of when they come. He is only happy that they have come home and delights in their return. After all, if you really and truly love someone, does it matter what they will give you in return or what you receive as a benefit? If relationships were assessed based upon productivity, they would lack authentic love. We invest too much self interest in our prayer and neglect to see it as an opportunity to pursue our Lover and deepen the intimate bond we have with God.

When we breathe our last, all that is of consequence is union with God. If my love for God is real, I am going to want to live the Gospel, abide by the commandments, practice my faith, forgive and love my neighbor, and care for the environment, regardless of how much time it takes or benefits me. We want God to think and behave as we do, and in doing so, we set ourselves up for disappointment. God has a totally different agenda and that’s okay.

©LPi

MEDITACIÓN DEL EVANGELIO

20 de septiembre de 2020
25º Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario

El marco de la perspectiva de Dios es siempre la salvación. La promesa de Dios se cumplirá siempre. Ya desde el Antiguo Testamento, el profeta Isaías lo proclama. “Pues sus proyectos no son los míos, y mis caminos no son los mismos de ustedes, dice Yahvé. Así como el cielo está muy alto por encima de la tierra, así también mis caminos se elevan por encima de sus caminos y mis proyectos son muy superiores a los de ustedes. (Isaías 55:8-9).

Por otro lado, el Evangelio muestra nuevamente la gran bondad de Dios con la parábola de los trabajadores de la viña.  Una historia con un final sorprendente. El dueño de la viña paga el salario por igual al que entró temprano, al mediodía y al caer la tarde.

¡Gracias Dios! Por pagarnos a todos igual, al inmigrante, al extranjero, al que radica en su tierra. Gracias, porque para ti todos somos raza santa y herederos de tu Reino. Pues, a que patrón se le ocurre contratar personal a última hora y pagar igual como el que tiene señoría. ¡No se vale Señor! decimos los humanos, eso es injusto. Prestemos atención, al mensaje. ¿Cuál es el punto de Jesús? ¿Qué pretendía con sus oyentes? Pretendía que cambiaran de pensamiento, que no fueran indiferentes con los que sufren, con los menos favorecidos.  Ahora, qué pretende Jesús para nosotros en esta Liturgia. No se puede salir de la Eucaristía igual que cuando llegamos a ella. ¿Cuál es el camino a seguir de ahora en adelante? No seamos sordos a su voz, pongamos atención para trabajar en su viña.

©LPi

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