A Reflection From Fr. Gerry
I think a lot of us would consider the story of the workers in the vineyard an unfair story. What happens there seems to be patently unjust. Not so. This story goes out of its way to stress something far more important. To understand it we need to keep the following in mind.
First of all, the people who came at the last hour were not lazy people. They wanted to work, but they could not find work. But then of course the idea that nay employer would take them on at the 11th hour and give them the full days wages as those who worked a full day does not seem to be just and justice of course, is very important. All we must do is to think of the opposite. Anyone who has had the experience of being treated in an unjust way knows very well how hurtful it can be.
However, this story is not about justice, it’s about generosity. It’s not even about human generosity, it’s about God’s generosity and God’s generosity transcends human generosity. Case in point, today’s first reading, we are told “My thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways.”
To be more specific here, it’s about God’s generosity to sinners. There were many who criticized Jesus because of his closeness to sinners. In their eyes he was betraying the virtuous. They assumed that God works on the merit system. According to this system, you must earn your graces by hard work. Jesus did not agree with this which is the reason he gave us this parable.
So, let us take a quick look at Jesus’ generosity to sinners of which, we see many examples in the Gospels. Take for example, the woman caught in adultery. The law at the time stated that she should be stoned to death, that would be considered justice. What did Jesus do? He overlooked justice and forgave her. He did the same thing with the crooked tax collector, the thief who died beside him on the cross and the greatest example of all, when Jesus was on the cross and he asked God to forgive those who tortured and nailed him to the cross. These are just a few examples of Jesus’ generosity to sinners.
In light of what I have said about justice and mercy, I now present you with a question. Which one of us here today would like to be treated by God according to the strict justice? I can only answer for myself. I certainly would not. But don’t we all stand more in need of God’s mercy rather than his justice?
God’s generosity to us sinners is a great comfort to us, but it is also a great challenge. And it is this, that we let God’s generosity be a model for our dealings with others that has to do with compassion, forgiveness and peace. May God go with you.
READINGS FOR SEPTEMBER 20, 2020
1st Reading—Isaiah 55: 6-9—Isaiah prophesied, “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call him while he is near…For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.”
Psalm 145: 2-3, 8-9, 17-18—“The Lord is near to all who call on him.”
2nd Reading—Philippians 1: 20c-24, 27a—Paul wrote, “Life is Christ, and death is gain…I long to depart this life and be with Christ, for that is far better. Yet that I remain in the flesh is more necessary for your benefit. Only, conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
Alleluia! Open our hearts, O Lord, to listen to the words of your Son. Alleluia!
Gospel—Matthew 20: 1-16a—Jesus told the parable about the vineyard owner who hired workers at different times of the day and paid them all the same amount at the end of the day. The own concluded, “Am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?” Jesus added, “The last will be first, and the first will be last.
PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL
1) Let us pray for the Church:
May God’s people always conduct themselves in a way worthy of the Gospel of Christ. Bless our parish and deepen our faith.
2) Let us pray for the peoples of our world:
Give us patience, O God, for your ways are not our ways. Help the nations find the pathways of peace together. Grant our leaders wisdom.
3) Let us pray for those who till the soil:
God of all creation, you bring fruitfulness to field and orchard.
Bless those who produce our food and who work through the heat of the day to harvest the crops.
4) Let us pray for the sick and the suffering:
Compassionate Lord, in your generosity dispense your healing love to our ailing friends:
Holly Francis Betty & Tony Morici Dolores Cumming Barbara Rebennack
Elena Perea Cooper Pavkovich Alex Fabian Family
Dot Tebelman Mark Bogues Diane Naren Al Hasselbach
Renee Thompson Andy, Tom & Ron Rubin
And for all who have asked for our prayers.
5) Let us remember the dead:
May those who have left this life know the peace of Christ and eternal rest, especially –
(5:00 Mass) Mort Flanigan
(8:30 Mass) Madonna Petrusha
(10:30 Mass) Sharon Boyes
6) Let us pray for our personal needs in a moment of silence:
Touch our hearts and minds where we need you most, dear Jesus.
Give us strength and joy to continue to labor in your vineyard.
We pray to the Lord…
ANNOUNCEMENTS – September 20, 2020
- If you haven’t registered your child for Religious Education classes, there is still time. Please go to our website and then the Rel. Ed. Tab to register, or come to the parish office. Classes at this time will be online.
- The food pantry is in need of the following: laundry soap, bath soap, dish soap, garbage bags, Ziploc bags and toilet paper.
- Since we still can’t socialize after Mass, please leave in a timely manner, you can visit outside!
CROP Walk – 40 Years of Fighting Hunger!
Yes, there WILL be a CROP Walk this year! We are proud and happy to announce that this year marks the 40th year for the Ortonville Community CROP Hunger Walk this year. As with many events it will look a little different and will take place virtually. On Sunday, October 4 we will walk together, but apart, in the spirit of fighting hunger.
*A portion of the funds will once again benefit our community through OCEF. *St. Anne has a team page set up on the website for donations. There will not be a table in the gathering area for cash donations this year. *Anyone preferring to write a check to CWS/CROP Hunger Walk, or if you have questions in general, please contact me at email@example.com *Visit www.crophungerwalk.org/ortonvillemi for more information or to donate.
You can even post of picture of you or your group walking that day should you choose! The people of St. Anne have a history of wonderful generosity to past CROP Walks.
Hunger has not taken a vacation during this uncertain time, so the CROP committee will be grateful for anything you can spare.