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Msgr. Ivers' Homily for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

· Homily OT25A.2020

· It’s not fair.

· We have heard others say this; we have said it ourselves.

· It is something we learned early on as a child – life is not fair!

· As one author writes:

“Life is not fair, and neither are people, us included. Sometimes we are taken advantage of. Sometimes we do all the right things and wind up losing. Sometimes we act cautiously and are nonetheless hurt. Others may be generous to us and yet we take advantage of their kindness. Or we may act with good intentions toward others and yet our efforts go unappreciated or are misunderstood.”

· Today, the incident related in this parable would be an unfair labor practice; there would be a picket line outside the vineyard; tv reporters would be interviewing the aggrieved workers. Union officials would be on the talk shows.

· Just as this would not make sense today; it didn’t make sense two thousand years ago when Jesus told this parable.

· It’s not fair!

· The parable reinforces what we hear the prophet Isaiah say today: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are my ways your ways…”

· Remember what Jesus said to Peter 3 Sundays ago: “You are not thinking as God does but as human beings do.”

· What nonsense: “The last will be first and the first will be last.”

· Nonsense in our way of thinking. But God doesn’t think as we do. THANK GOD!!

· The Gospel is a story of God’s generous, abundant, no holds barred love, generosity, forgiveness.

· God is generous in ways that we will never be because our hearts are not as big as God’s heart; because God’s love is infinite and ours is finite at the best.

· God gives each person what is their due – at the very least – like the laborers in the vineyard.

· The first group hired were promised the daily wage, and that is what they received. They were not cheated at what was agreed upon.

· God is JUST, but God is also GENEROUS. The gift giver can be as generous as he wants. It is not up to us to tell the gift giver how and in what way he is to be generous.

· God gives to each of us what God wills, though never LESS than what we need. And don’t forget – there is more than ENOUGH to go around. There is plenty for everyone.

· This parable is a celebration of grace which goes beyond our own merit. It is about divine generosity which goes beyond the strict rules of justice.

· YES, God is generous. God forgives sinners, seeks out the lost, desires to bring everyone into the kingdom. Like the shepherd who rejoices when he finds the one lost sheep, we too, as disciples, are called to rejoice at the abundance of God’s mercy, not let it become a source of jealousy or resentment.

· The Lord calls us to put aside our pre-conceived ideas of justice and generosity. We need to let God be God, not how we want God to be.

· One day you or I will be that lost sheep. We will want God to come looking for us. We will want God to forgive us. We will want God to embrace us, the wayward son or daughter.

· If we do not want anyone to be angry at God for being generous to you or me, then let us never be jealous at God’s goodness to someone else. Remember – there is ENOUGH of God to go around. There is MORE THAN ENOUGH for you and for me!!

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