God’s love is limitless generosity Print E-mail
Written by Jem Sullivan   
Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017

25th Sunday
in Ordinary Time

Is 55:6-9
Psalm 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18
Phil 1:20-24, 27
Gospel: Mt 20:1-16

Gospel parables often contain a paradox meant to open us to a deeper understanding of who God is and who we are in relationship to God. To unpack the deeper meaning of the parable takes time, reflection, and silence.

At times, we are challenged to “think outside the box” to understand the meaning of God’s word. This is particularly true of today’s Gospel parable that invites us to reflect on how different God’s ways are from our ways.

At first glance, the scene in the Gospel appears unfair, even unjust, as workers who come at the 11th hour are paid the same as those who work all day. From a purely human point of view, it doesn’t make sense. And that’s when we realize something deeper is unfolding.

The parable is not a lesson on how to run a business or payroll. In fact, it has nothing to do with economics. To understand the meaning of Jesus’ words, we look to the times when Jesus first spoke the parable.

Then, a vineyard was a symbol for the people of Israel. And the owner was an image for God’s generous love revealed in Jesus’ ministry of healing, preaching, and teaching.

Those who worked the entire day were like the many devout, pious people of Jesus’ day. They would receive their just reward at the right time. Those who were hired at midday are like those who live on the margins of society and respond in faith to Jesus’ message.

Finally, there are sinners, tax collectors, and outcasts. They are getting much more than they deserve or have worked for. They are receiving the overflowing generosity and compassion of God’s love.

Jesus extends God’s mercy and generosity, even to sinners and outcasts, to the poor, and the defenseless. Coming into God’s presence, we resist the temptation to focus on our rights and our expectations.

God is infinitely generous in ways that go beyond human standards of fairness and justice. God’s love is limitless generosity, as the prophet Isaiah affirms when he invites the people of Israel to turn to the Lord for mercy.

God’s word today challenges us to make generosity and compassion a way of life.

Jem Sullivan is secretary for Catholic education of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.

Daily Scripture Readings Print E-mail
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
Click here to view or subscribe to the daily
Scripture readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
Pope's Prayer Intention: September, 2017 Print E-mail
Beginning in 2017, the Pope will present one prepared prayer intention per month, rather than two. A second prayer intention related to current events will be added each month. The urgent prayer request will mobilize prayer and attention to an immediate situation.

Pope's September Prayer Intention


That our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit, may be places
where faith is communicated and charity is seen.

Holy Days of Obligation Print E-mail

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2017.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Sunday, Jan. 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 25
Ascension Thursday
Tuesday, Aug. 15
Solemnity of the Assumption
Wednesday, Nov. 1
All Saints Day
Friday, Dec. 8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Monday, Dec. 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Prayer to St. Raphael Print E-mail

photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.


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