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Listening to the Word


Twenty-fifth Sunday in OT 'A'

September 24, 2023

Today’s readings are all about the sense of justice and the extravagant grace of a merciful God. While God is both just and merciful, God’s mercy often overrides His justice and, hence, God pardons us unconditionally and rewards us generously by opening Heaven for the Gentiles and the Jews.


In the First Reading, the prophet Isaiah reminds the exiles in Babylon that their God is more merciful than they are, and more forgiving.  He is ready to pardon the infidelity which has resulted in their exile. Their merciful God will bless them with material and spiritual blessings. Hence, Isaiah exhorts them, and us, to seek the Lord and to put aside evil ways in order to receive His mercy and forgiveness.


Today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 145) reminds us that, although “the Lord is just in all His ways,” He is at the same time “gracious and merciful.”


In the Second Reading, Paul offers himself as an example of total submission to God’s grace and God’s will. He is ready to live continuing his mission if that is God’s will. At the same time, he is ready to die and join the Lord if that is God’s will.


In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us the strange Parable of landowner who hired laborers at five different times during the course of one day to work in his vineyard but paid the same living wage for a full day’s work to all of them. This story of the landlord's love and generosity represents God’s love and generosity to all of us. It illustrates the difference between God's perspective and ours. God's provisions for our spiritual lives will never run out, and when we share our blessings with others, we tap into the inexhaustible Divine supply.  This story shows us how God looks at us, sees our needs and meets those needs generously and mercifully. The parable also shows the mercy and generosity of God in allowing the later-called Gentiles as well the first-called Jews, His Chosen People, to enjoy the same eternal bliss of His Heavenly Kingdom


We need to follow God’s example and show grace to our neighbor.  When someone else is more successful than we are, let us assume he or she needs it.  When someone who does wrong fails to get caught, let us remember the many times we have done wrong and gotten off free. Envy should have no place in our lives.  We cannot control the way God blesses others.


We need to express our gratitude to God in our daily lives.  God personally calls each of us to our own ministry and shows us His care by giving us His grace and eternal salvation. To God, we are more than just numbers on a payroll. Our call to His vineyard is a free gift from God for which we can never be sufficiently thankful. All our talents and blessings are freely given to us by God. Hence, we should express our gratitude to God by avoiding sins, by rendering loving service to others, by sharing our blessings with the needy and by constant prayer, listening and talking to God at all times.

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