Saturday, September 20, 2014

Are You Envious

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

Piety is the degree to which we are alive TO THE PLAN OF GOD in the moment.  The Good Thief steals heaven at the end of his life because he has his cross next to Christ’s cross.  The fullness of God’s love is expressed in the mystery of the cross.  Much is said by the Father in the simplicity of the cross of His Son being permitted.  “God so loved the world that he sent his Son to reconcile the world to Him.”  How do we accept the love of a God who gave us the best of Himself in the dying of Christ on the Cross?  Christ is the Good News of Salvation.  Christ came to give us a claim on heaven in our acceptance of the crosses of our lives.  God is love and He has all of His love waiting for us in our oneness with His Son.  Those that God truly loves he bring close to the Cross of His Son.   In the crosses of our lives we put up with the difficulty of life for the sake of our people.  We fill up what wants to the suffering of Christ’s Body, the Church.  All we need to do is to go out into the harvest of souls.  Our gospel today is all about the mercy and the love of God who takes care of us whenever we accept his invitation.  It is never too late to work for the Father.  He is generous to us in how he rewards our labors no matter how late we go to work for him.

Christ gives us a parable to study to understand the generosity of the Father.  Unemployment helps us understand the generosity of the Father.  It is not how long we work that matters.  Work is its own reward for those who are without work.  How glad they are to have a chance to do something that matters.  The Master of the harvest answers the question of those who expect more because they worked longer.  He gives good pay to those who work.  Why cannot we be generous to those who appreciate even more the having a chance to work?  Those, who bore the brunt of the heat of the day, were well paid.  Why are they jealous when others have the chance to work and are paid as well for less time?  God is such a lover that he can give us the reward for a life well lived when we do our best for the last moment of life.  It is not the job that we have or how long we worked at it.  It is how much appreciation and love we have for doing our best with the work we have.  The boy and the girl saints have a gospel that says they fulfilled a long time in a short time.

It is important to put all of ourselves into the moment we are now living.  Love is the coin of the realm of heaven.  It is possible to work a lifetime in the moment we are in.  Peter says an afternoon with the Lord can be worth a thousand years.  There is no greater love we can give than to work with all that we are in the moment we have.  Only the moment now touches the eternal “now-ness” of God who identifies himself as the “I am who I am.”  We do not have to wait for a job worthy of our efforts.  Doing our best makes the ordinary extraordinary. 

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