The banquet is the symbol of the happiness and joy present in the kingdom of God. The first reading tells us of a promise; while the gospel tells us of its actualization. If the banquet has already begun with the coming of the Messiah, why do we still have so much hatred, so many wars and deaths all over the world? Yes, the feast has begun, but the kingdom is still awaiting its full attainment.
The second reading is connected with this theme. We are given the example of the community at Philippi where there is authentic love and where a completely new life has really begun; the help and the gifts sent to Paul are proof of this. The prophet Isaiah would say: this banquet is a type of the heavenly banquet and of the Eucharist by which one is nourished with the Body and Blood of Christ.READ MORE
The readings today are about the vineyard of the Lord. In the first reading we hear about the vineyard being planted with the "choicest vines", the best vines, but when it came time to harvest, to pick the crop of grapes, it yielded wild grapes, bad fruit. The Prophet Isaiah is pointing out to Israel that they are the wild grapes, the bad fruit. Israel has not been true to her calling to witness to the nations of the One true God.
In the gospel reading the owner of the vineyard leases his vineyard to tenants. When it is time for harvest, time for the owner to collect his produce, he sends his servants to collect, and the tenants, the workers in the vineyard, beat, kill, and stone the servants. This happened twice. Finally, he sent his son, and they killed him.READ MORE
Ezekiel’s prophesy in the first reading teaches us the possibility of pardon through repentance forone’s accumulated evils. God glories in forgiving those who turn back to him, and he ardently desires the salvation of all, but also the risk of losing all the good one has done by returning to doing evil. In the second reading, Paul writing to Philippians encouraged them to be united andshow their love for each other through humility and service. Christ, who is divine, became man inorder to suffer and die for our salvation. No act of humility on our part can ever rival the humiliation of Christ’s suffering and death on the Cross. Christ willingly took on the role of a servant and allowed himself to be crucified for our sake even though he was innocent of any sin. Then in the gospel of Matthew, the parable teaches us that promises can never take the place ofperformance, and fine words are never a substitute for fine deeds.READ MORE
The Gospel parable today gives us insight to who our God is and his desire for all of us to spend eternity with him. How might you have felt if you were the first to be picked that day by the landowner? In the beginning, you might have felt grateful that you were picked, because you would know that you and your family would have money to sustain your needs for that day. It was a very common practice to be paid each day that you worked, so that your family would have their needs met. At the end of the day, when getting paid along with everyone else; I know that I would have been growing in excitement thinking that I was going to be paid more then those who came in at the end of the day. Only to be let down because my wage would be the same as everyone else's. I probably would have been envious of those who came in at the end of the day too! If I would have been one of those who was picked at the end of the day, I would have been very grateful because I knew that I would have something to give to my family. Even if I was one of the first one's paid, seeing that I got a full day's wage, I would have been overjoyed.READ MORE
"Forgive your neighbors injustice, then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven" This quote from today's first reading sounds a lot like "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." Sirach goes on to say that the way we treat others, particularly those with whom we are angry, is what we can expect from the Lord. "Can anyone nourish anger against another and expect healing from the Lord?"
When the forgiven man went to demand payment from his debtor, he heard from him the very same words and actions that he had so recently offered to the king. But the forgiven man did not recognize his own voice in the debtor. He did not see his plight in the debtor's plight. What he did not or would not see brought him to condemn himself with his own words and actions. He only made an inescapable demand on himself when he spoke to the debtor.READ MORE
Today’s Readings are all about relationship. God expects all of us, every human being, to have the same relationship with each other and with God, as God has with us. And God has only one expectation concerning relationships, that they are relationships of love. Love as God sees love as an action, not as humanity sees love, defined as an intense feeling of deep affection, fondness, tenderness, warmth, intimacy,and other fuzzy feelings. These are simply feelings not love. It is the action of love that generates all thefuzzy feelings; an action that calls us to give of ourselves. Then through this self-giving we generate an arrayof warm fuzzy feelings for those to whom we give and for ourselves.READ MORE
One of the important and more meaningful parts of Catholic doctrine that is often neglected or not so welldeveloped in some Christian denominations is the incredible value of suffering. Many Christians believethat Jesus suffered and died for us so that we will not have to suffer at all. This is only partially true. Whenwe go through the gospel, we see that Jesus never shies away from reminding his disciples the challengeof following him, and this includes suffering. He declared in the gospel: "Whoever wishes to come after memust deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me."READ MORE