Sunday Scripture Readings for Sept. 21, 2014 Print E-mail
Written by Jean Denton   
Scripture Readings
Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014
Twenty-fifth Sunday in
Ordinary Time

Isaiah 55:6-9
Psalm 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18
Philippians 1:20c-24, 27a
Matthew 20:1-16a

Our daughter was not pleased the day she found out her dad had offered her brother a guitar if he got a B average on his report card.

He already had the guitar in hand by the time she learned of his good fortune.

"Huh! Reeeally?" she remarked in a voice loud enough to be sure her parents picked up her icy tone. Then she just tossed aside all subtlety and noted straightout to us that she'd never been offered a nice incentive for good grades.

We knew that as well as we knew she had never needed any outside motivation to achieve her academic potential. Brother did. The incentive actually helped him become a more diligent student. He also appreciated his father's generosity and still cherishes that first guitar.

But all his sister could see was that she never got an extra reward for her grades.

The parable in this week's Gospel asks the same rhetorical question my husband could have asked our daughter: "Are you envious because I am generous?"

Most people have difficulty with this parable. It runs counter to our human concept of justice, especially the commonly held value of "a day's pay for a day's work."

The landowner paid those who worked only an hour the same amount as those who had toiled a full day. He realized they needed to feed their families, too.

It would take several years' maturity before our daughter got over that guitar. But eventually she recognized occasions when she herself was the exclusive object of her father's generosity.

Then she understood that we provided for each of our children according to their unique abilities, interests, and challenges.

Jesus' parable reveals that God gives us not only what is just, but more -- what we need.

Isaiah explains this divine quality of generosity: "So high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts."

What does one say to the grumbling laborers or the pouty daughter? Isaiah says, "Seek the Lord . . . while he is near." That is, rather than being envious of another's reward, look to God in our own intimate relationship with him where his generosity is found in gifts unique to our needs.


This column is offered in cooperation with The North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.


Daily Scripture Readings Print E-mail
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
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Scripture readings from the United States Conference
of Catholic Bishops website.
Pope's Prayer Intentions: September Print E-mail
September General Intention

Mentally disabled. That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.

September Mission Intention
Service to the poor. That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.
Holy Days of Obligation Print E-mail

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2014.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Wednesday, January 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 29
Ascension Thursday
Friday, August 15
Solemnity of the Assumption
Saturday, November 1
All Saints (abrogated because it falls on Saturday)
Monday, December 8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Thursday, December 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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