• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 18 September 2020 12:16

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time - 2020

Written by Fr Elmer Ibarra SVD

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 20:1-16


Fr Elmer Ibarra 150 BestI’d like to borrow a very good story from Miguel de Umanumo, a Spanish philosopher and novelist from the 20th century about the origin of hell. The setting was at the gates of heaven. There were a lot of people waiting to be admitted. Some were rather confident, some were rather nervous, some were feeling quite hopeless about whether they would be admitted into heaven or not. Then, suddenly, there was an angel who came from heaven. The angel had awesome news coming from inside heaven. The angel said, “God admits everybody inside!” This news spread like wildfire to all the people waiting outside the gates. And while a lot of people were celebrating this fact, almost the same number of people rebelled against this news. They couldn’t accept that they would share heaven with sinners. And with this, hell was created to accommodate those people who can’t accept the lavish generosity and graciousness of God.

We have a parable for today where there’s a landowner who needed a lot of workers to harvest grapes in his vineyard. Understandably, the landowner needed a lot of workers otherwise the grapes might get ruined. The first batch of workers and the landowner agreed on the day’s wage, which was one denarius. Then when the landowner needed to get more workers, he promised them a “just wage”. When the landowner still needed more workers by midday, mid afternoon and with one hour before sunset, he just promised every worker that he would give a “just wage”. When the landowner asked his foreman to give out the wages, he intentionally asked that those who worked for one hour be given their wages first, which turned out to be one denarius. Then everybody received the same wage. When the first batch who worked the whole day came, they received the same one denarius then they grumbled at the landowner. However, the landowner explained there is no injustice done since they had agreed to receive one denarius - whatever he wants to give to the latecomers is his prerogative.

Let’s translate this story to a more contemporary setting. An old widow had six children. Of course, these six children’s level of love for their mother are quite different. Two of her children would always be there to help her in everything that she needed. The other two would sometimes make a call once in a while and maybe one or twice a month, they would visit her for a few hours. While the last two couldn’t be bothered with what happened to their mum. When the widow died, to the shock and horror of some of the children, she decided to split all her money and property equally among all six children. Now, how do we feel? Do we feel that there’s some injustice that happened? Don’t we realise that the widow has all the right in the world on the question of what to do with her money and properties?

We have always heard “God’s ways are not our ways.” We should read then this parable as showing us how the way God thinks is definitely different from ours. While we believe that God is just, I believe that his mercy trumps all of those. Because of his immense love for us, his mercy is going to be first before his justice. Just imagine if his justice came first. Who among us would survive?

I believe that as we continue to contemplate this gospel, instead of being envious of others, let us just be grateful that we have a gracious God. We should treat everyone as family -  even though in a family not everybody is perfect and we have the occasional “black sheep”, let us rejoice for everyone who gets admitted to the kingdom of heaven because if we let envy overcome us, we might find ourselves outside the awesome party thrown by Jesus himself.