Homily for September 21, 2014: 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Msgr. Jim Miller

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 21, 2014

Reading 1 Is 55:6-9

Responsorial Psalm Ps 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18

R/ (18a) The Lord is near to all who call upon him.

Reading 2 Phil 1:20c-24, 27a

Gospel Mt 20:1-16a

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The first reading from Isaiah has a line that calls us to humility.   “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.  As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.”   When we consider Isaiah’s message seriously, we run into what seems to be an almost inescapable dimension of our human condition:  our limited ability to judge rightly.   Yes, we all have our opinions but we are called to realize that our opinions are hopelessly short-sighted and highly likely to be egocentric or self-serving.

When we look at the gospel do we cry out it is not fair?   It is not fair that a day labor who works only an hour or two should get paid the same as a person who works all day.   Maybe we should not be too quick to yell it is not fair!   Or if we do yell it we should also say with our next thought “who am I to judge?”

A person working by the day usually does not get much more than enough to provide food and drink for the day and a little more.   If they do not work they do not eat.   Everybody called to work in the vineyard needed a day’s wage to provide for themselves and their family.   What a wonderful gift was received by those who  were only able to work one or two hours or a half of a day!!  Why should the others have been upset about another having enough food to eat?

In the TV show America’s Got Talent it seems that those who are not chosen are sincerely happy for those who are chosen to go on or have won the contest.   They usually say they have been blessed to have had the opportunity to perform before so many people and that the experience has changed their lives for the better.

What can change our lives for the better?   When we truly seek the Lord we will begin to slowly see life differently through eyes of faith.   As we get closer to the Lord we become more aware of our sins and failings and we will experience our need for forgiveness.   When was the last time you have gone to confession?   Isaiah states “turn to the Lord for mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving.”   My job as a confessor is to help you be forgiven and to know God’s love for you.   I find that when I confess my sins out loud to a priest that it helps me see them more clearly and to experience God’s love and forgiveness in spite of my failings.   At a minimum when you come to confession you need to be sorry for your sins and want to life better.   Yes, I know it is easier to want to avoid sin and all that leads us to sin than to actually do it.   I pray that God will continue to form me and you in ways of faith so that we can better model Christ to others.