READING OF THE DAY
A reading from the Book of the prophet Ezekiel
The word of the Lord came to me:
Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel,
in these words prophesy to them to the shepherds:
Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the shepherds of Israel
who have been pasturing themselves!
Should not shepherds, rather, pasture sheep?
You have fed off their milk, worn their wool,
and slaughtered the fatlings,
but the sheep you have not pastured.
You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick
nor bind up the injured.
You did not bring back the strayed nor seek the lost,
but you lorded it over them harshly and brutally.
So they were scattered for the lack of a shepherd,
and became food for all the wild beasts.
My sheep were scattered
and wandered over all the mountains and high hills;
my sheep were scattered over the whole earth,
with no one to look after them or to search for them.
Therefore, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
As I live, says the Lord GOD,
because my sheep have been given over to pillage,
and because my sheep have become food for every wild beast,
for lack of a shepherd;
because my shepherds did not look after my sheep,
but pastured themselves and did not pasture my sheep;
because of this, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
Thus says the Lord GOD:
I swear I am coming against these shepherds.
I will claim my sheep from them
and put a stop to their shepherding my sheep
so that they may no longer pasture themselves.
I will save my sheep,
that they may no longer be food for their mouths.
For thus says the Lord GOD:
I myself will look after and tend my sheep.
GOSPEL OF THE DAY
From the Gospel according to Matthew
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,
he 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,
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.’
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.”
Wednesday of 20th Week in Ordinary Time
God’s Word for Us
Dear People of God,
The Word of God today speaks to all humanity about a God of Love through the image of the owner of the vineyard.
He is a loving God who always watches over the whole of humanity, God knows what people need, what they lack, and what they want. He always cares and takes care of people everywhere, all the time; It is God’s loving providence for mankind. Because of love, God does not want a soul to be separated from Him.
The image of the owner of the vineyard is the image of a God full of love and mercy, generosity and tolerance. For God, there is always justice; but the justice of God man cannot calculate, measure, count, and compare; because God’s justice for humanity is Love. God always puts love above all laws.
The Word of God today teaches everyone: do not compare, calculate with God, do not live with enviously, but live according to His example of being full of love, and give thanks to God for the graces that God has given each of us. Let’s thank God for allowing me to be close to Him, to dwell in Him, and to live in union with Him. Thank God for letting me be in His Vineyard, in His own Church. Let’s live and do what God the Father has given and commanded, that is: to have charity and selflessness towards your brothers and sisters as God has loved you, do not compare and calculate, Do not judge and condemn what God has done out of love for mankind. Before God, each of us is sinners. Therefore, whoever is wise should be humble, lowly, small before God, and give thanks to God for all the blessings He has given us. Only then will you be worthy to receive His reward of the Kingdom of Heaven.
God also reminds everyone not think that entering the Church, or in the Vineyard of God, you have already secured a place in the Kingdom of Heaven. The reward of the Kingdom is only given to those who obey God the Father, and are faithful to Him until their last breath.
Thanks be to God. Amen.