25th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Call to worship
God generously calls everyone to salvation. No one is first in the kingdom of God. Those who have labored long receive the same reward as those who come to know the Lord later in their lives. God’s justice and judgment is very much unlike our sense of fairness and justice. God’s ways are always filled with tender compassion, mercy, and love.
- To the point: This gospel raises the question of who is first and who is last in the kingdom of heaven. Those laborers are last who shift their focus from doing the work of the landowner to grumbling about the amount of wages others are receiving. Those are first who do not labor in the vineyard because of the amount of wages, but simply because they are privileged to share in the work of the landowner. Indeed, simply being called to the privilege of sharing in Jesus’ work of salvation is its own recompense. The kingdom of heaven is revealed by those who choose this work. Do we?
- Connecting the Gospel (Matthew 20: 1-16) to the first reading: While Isaiah is telling one truth, namely, that God’s thoughts and ways are not ours, Jesus is telling another truth, that we are called to participate in God’s thoughts and ways by working for the coming of the kingdom.
- Connecting the Gospel to experience: Being completely lost in something we enjoy doing very much is its own reward. How much more so when we stay focused on following Jesus faithfully.
(Matthew 20: 1-16a)
“When those who had started about five o’clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.”
Christ. You know everyone:
each one’s wants and needs.
What will be your call, to the vineyard,
to the place of grace, where you heap the fortune
of everlasting life and love on us?
Thank you for your wonderfully constant
call to each of us to work
and live among your vines.
The First Reading
(Isaiah 55: 6-9)
“Call on him while he is near.”
Seek the Lord while he may be found,
search for him at break of day,
call to him in the night,
look for him in work and play.
God, we do seek you always and everywhere …
in your call to us to fix our planet
and broken social justice systems,
missing not one detail
of your presence in each of our lives.
The Second Reading
(Philippians 1:20c-24, 27a)
“Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death…”
O Christ, please be at one with
our small selves.When the world sees us,
let it behold You and your glory
within everything we do and are.
Copyright © 2023, Anne M. Osdieck
Music for reflection