September 24: Twenty-fifth Week of Ordinary Time. Readings: 1. Isaiah 55:6-9; Psalm: 145; 2. Philippians 1:20-24,27; Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16.
Something of the mystery of God surely shows itself in these pieces of Holy Scripture. For in each we hear ourselves being invited into quite a strange experience of the divine. Everything is therefore not exactly as we might imagine it from a human point of view.
Isaiah’s words open up for us a certain understanding of what God calls his people to be, and to know about the working out of the divine plan. There is a degree of reorientation in our thinking that the prophet is leading us to latch onto. He says that being at one with God demands an attitude of mind that aligns with an acceptance of God’s revealed instructions, even if they do not square with our own perceptions and desires.
Addressing the Philippians, Paul sets an example for them to follow. He is basically exhorting them to join him in becoming spiritually reflective with respect to the work and practice of faith. For Paul, this present life is in every regard intended to be one that bears fruit consistent with the Gospel message concerning communion of mind and heart.
The parable that Matthew’s Jesus tells, invites us to see God’s presence in our midst bringing, about a plan that draws all sorts of people in a sometimes mysteriously timed order. The narrative image of workers in a vineyard, employed at different times of the day for the same wage, asks us to stop and ponder God’s extraordinary graciousness that welcomes everyone into the splendour of the heavenly kingdom.
As we consider the content of these readings, we come to appreciate the deeper meaning of the faith we profess, and the call that we have received to give witness to that faith. Every day, therefore, provides opportunities for us to be faithful in mind and practice.