Readings and Gospel 20.9.2020


Reading 1

Seek the LORD while he may be found,
call him while he is near.
Let the scoundrel forsake his way,
and the wicked his thoughts;
let him turn to the LORD for mercy;
to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
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.

Responsorial Psalm

R. (18a) The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.

Reading 2

Brothers and sisters:
Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.
For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.
If I go on living in the flesh,
that means fruitful labor for me.
And I do not know which I shall choose.
I am caught between the two.
I long to depart this life and be with Christ,
for that is far better.
Yet that I remain in the flesh
is more necessary for your benefit.

Only, conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Open our hearts, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o’clock,
the landowner saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.’
So they went off.
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o’clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o’clock,
the landowner found others standing around, and said to them,
‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’
They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’
He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.’
When those who had started about five o’clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
‘These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’
He said to one of them in reply,
‘My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?’
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Going out about five o’clock, he found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’  They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’”  Matthew 20:6-7

This passage reveals the fifth time in one day that the owner of the vineyard went out and hired more workers.  Each time he found people idle and hired them on the spot, sending them to the vineyard.  We know the end of the story.  Those who were hired late in the day, at five o’clock, were paid the same wage as those who worked all day long.

One lesson we can take from this parable is that God is exceptionally generous and it is never too late to turn to Him in our need.  Too often, when it comes to our life of faith, we sit around “idle all day.”  In other words, we can easily go through the motions of having a faith life but fail to actually embrace the daily work of building up our relationship with our Lord.  It’s much easier to have an idle faith life than one which is active and transforming.

We should hear, in this passage, an invitation from Jesus to get to work, so to speak.  One challenge that many face is that they have spent years living an idle faith and do not know how to change that.  If that is you, this passage is for you.  It reveals that God is merciful to the end.  He never shies away from bestowing His riches on us no matter how long we have been away from Him and no matter how far we have fallen.

Reflect, today, upon the level of commitment with which you are living your faith.  Be honest and reflect upon whether you are more idle or hard at work.  If you are hard at work, be grateful and remain committed without hesitation.  If you are idle, today is the day our Lord invites you to make a change.  Make that change, get to work, and know that our Lord’s generosity is great.

Lord, help me to increase my commitment to living my life of faith.  Allow me to hear Your gentle invitation to enter into Your Vineyard of grace.  I thank You for Your generosity and seek to receive this freely given gift of Your mercy.  Jesus, I trust in You.

From Catholic daily