Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The 25 Sunday of Ordinary Time Year A

September 24, 2017

Fr. Francesco Msofu

In today’s first reading, we have heard that: “as the heavens are high above earth, so are my thoughts above your thoughts,” and it demands of us that we should change our way of thinking, and not attempt to change God. Sometimes we have an idea of God as a “business partner,” “an accountant,” or a “master who pays everyone according to their merits.” We, as human beings have merited nothing before God. Is He who decided to love us, although we were sinners (Rom 5: 6). Therefore, there is no reason for us to be envious of one another.

In the gospel, Jesus rejects the idea of a God who pays us according to our merit. For Him, the only attitude that we are to have before our heavenly Father is that of a child who does not claim any rights, who cannot merit anything and who always expects His Father to be kind to him or her.  That is why, in the first reading God says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts nor are your ways my ways. For as heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” These important words put us on our guard against trying to pull God down to our level or raise ourselves to His level, that His thoughts are like our thoughts.  But His thoughts are as far from ours as heaven is far from the earth. In the gospel, we realize how our thoughts are different from God’s. The first reading prepares us to listen to the gospel of today. God, who in spite of our infidelity to him, continues to search for us.  He continues to invite us to his vineyard to serve Him.

Our God is love, Generous and Unconditional love for all human beings.  He is motivated by love and generosity to all who are ready to accept His invitation. In today’s gospel, the Landowner is God. The vineyard is the Kingdom of God. The workers hired at dawn are the Israelites, to whom He first offered His covenant. These hired later in the day are the Gentiles, the non-Israelites, who until the coming of Christ, were strangers to the covenant. In the Lord’s great generosity, the same wages, the same blessings promised to the first called, the Israelites, will be paid to these called last, the rest of the nation. His generosity and love does not depend on the number of years one has served in His vineyard, but rather, the readiness of an individual to His call and that the person is faithful to His commandments.  A good example for this is that of the good thief who, in the last moment of his life, repented on his sins and immediately was rewarded the eternal life in God’s heavenly kingdom just like the other people who might have served God for 90 years.  We should, therefore, never be envious of others; but we should always encourage and support one another, so that one day we all will be joyous in God’s heavenly kingdom.


In our Life

  1. It is never too late to return to God. God is waiting for our response to His invitation. He is our Creator, our Father who is love and merciful. What He wants is our “Yes” to his call. He is forgiving, not because we are worthy, but because it is his nature to be generous and forgiving.
  2. The other idea in today’s gospel is about envy. Envy makes us miserable because it makes us constantly compare ourselves with others, focusing on what we have not instead of being happy with what we already have. We should remember that we are all God’s children and that we are given the same blessings, same redemption and same love. Just like Paul in the second reading, we learn that Paul did not work for a reward, though he knew that he had worked harder than anybody else (1 Cor. 15: 10). His reward was the ability to love what God gave him.