Friday, September 16, 2011

Seek the Lord While He May Be Found

September 18, 2011

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary time A

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

Only, conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ. Philippians 1:27a

"'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." Matthew 20:14b-16


Our living for Christ is our piety. Our dying for Christ is the resurrection. By life or by death, we solidify our relationship to Christ when we live out what we do for his sake. The problem of a job for Christ is thus a no- brainer. Our Gospel of the landowner and the laborers he hires at different times getting the same pay becomes part of the beauty of the kingdom of God. It does not matter when he calls us. What matters is our willingness to go out and do our job no matter what it is. God makes the rules that determine the value of the work we do. It is no longer a worry that I have not been doing what I now see as right all the days of my life because an afternoon working for the Lord can be considered a thousand years. As long as what we are doing is done for the sake of the Lord, its value is in how the Lord sees it and not how our world looks at something. What is significant is living our lives in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ.


It is a given of the kingdom of God that the Lord is just in all his ways. We follow the injunction of Isaiah in seeking the Lord while he may be found. We call upon the Lord to find the work we should be doing. The Lord has a destiny for each of us. In all our problems the Lord is near. We need but call upon him to find the work he wants from us. Happiness and peace flow out of our obedience to the Lord in all that we are doing. We share the mission of the Lord Jesus together. He asks us to spread the good news that God loves us and has a place waiting for us in heaven. God’s plans for us are so much more than we will ever be able to understand because his ways are above our way and his thoughts above our thoughts. Discernment is how we study the plan of Christ. Christ reveals to us in his humanness the right way to act. He gives us a blueprint of the perfect life in the chances we have to know him through the Sacraments and the gospels. In case we might not be able to understand, he gives us the Church with its traditions and teachings. He calls us to find our place in the great work of salvation that has to be done.


Our vocations in life flow out of the call of God. He has a job for each of us that our talents and dispositions prepare us to do. Family and friends help us enjoy what we do. Some begin the work of their lives early on. Others come into the harvest at the last moment. There is the way we put ourselves out in the work that we do that makes the difference. Peace and joy in what we are about reveal the rightness of the choices we are making in our following of Christ. We all have gifts of the Spirit and yet there is one Spirit. We belong together in the way our togetherness gives us the Mystical Body of Christ. Our obedience to the Law of God gives us the way and the truth of Christ. We measure the value of our lives by the standard of Christ which puts us at one with God. It will not be how long we have lived, but how hard we have lived the values of Christ in what we do with our lives that gives us the understanding of how the last will be first and first will be last. It is never too late to get started at the job of the harvest. God will measure us on how hard we are working when we are finally called to the great reckoning.