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September 20, 2020

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

In the first reading today, Isaiah tells us, Seek the Lord while he may be found, call him when he is near. This is a perfect one-sentence commentary on the gospel passage.

Jesus is describing a familiar scene in this parable of the workers in the vineyard. In late September, during the grape harvest, landowners were always desperate for workers. The grapes came to maturity shortly before the October rains. If the harvest weren’t brought in before the rains began, everything would be lost. Landowners would go to the marketplace to hire as many of the unemployed and migrant workers they could to get the harvest in as fast as possible. These day-laborers were the lowest paid in their society, about two dollars a day. Their existence was always precarious.

In the parable, the landowner went out to hire workers at 6 am, 9 am, noon, 3 pm and 5 pm. The workday ended at 6 pm. At the end of the day, the landowner gave each man the same pay: two dollars. He was very generous to those hired last, but at the same time, it seems unjust to pay all the workers the same. What’s the teaching behind the parable?

The vineyard is ready for harvest. Within these grapes, the kingdom awaits its manifestation—the wine of peace and harmony, of joy and love. God, the landowner, is inviting anyone and everyone to help collect the harvest, even if it’s only for an hour.

As Isaiah says, Seek the Lord while he may be found, call on him while he is near. God is reaching out to us every minute of every day to join his workforce. Are you ready to help manifest the kingdom of God on earth?

Let Us Pray:

My heavenly Father, I pray to you today to heal and transform the suffering world we have created. I offer myself to you as a poor worker committed to gathering your harvest. May your new wine be put into new wineskins so that your kingdom may manifest itself in a new world where your will may reign as in heaven. Thank you for feeding me with your daily bread that I may remain strong as I labor to harvest your vineyard. And so, it is. Amen.

 

Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About John Kamas, SSS

Father Kamas is pastor of Saint Jean Baptiste Church in New York City, New York.