The immeasurable mercy of God for every one of us
Reflections on the readings for the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (September 20, 2020): IS 55:6-9; PS 145:2-3,8-9; 17-18; PHIL 1:20-24,27; MT 20:1-16
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
Even when we think we are being just, we can be small-minded, envious and self-centered.
Today, in both the reading from the Old Testament and the Gospel according to Matthew, we are told that our usual human way of thinking and acting is very different from that of Almighty God. We hear that “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8). Then the Gospel story reveals the immeasurable mercy of God for every single one of His people compared with our attitudes and actions. Even when we think we are being just, we can be small-minded, envious and self-centered.
Yet, in St. Paul’s letter to the Christian community at Philippi, we find the message of someone who is truly striving to follow our Lord, no matter what He asks. “Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.… I long to depart this life and be with Christ, for that is far better. Yet that I remain in the flesh is more necessary for your benefit” (Philippians 1:20-21, 23-24). Paul is writing while he is in prison. At this point, he has no idea whether he will live or die. Paul is only concerned with doing the will of God. He wants to continue his missionary efforts in order to spread the Good News to as many willing listeners as possible so that they, too, will become loyal and loving disciples of Jesus. Still, he longs to be with Christ for eternity. Paul has complete faith that God will reward his fidelity, not because he thinks himself deserving, but because our Savior promised life everlasting to all who walk in His way. We, too, need to put our trust in Christ, seeking to cooperate with God’s plan each and every day.
Suggested missionary action: Let us appreciate every day of life that God gives us. We can use our time to serve Him and help our neighbors spiritually and materially. But let us also look forward with confidence in His mercy to bring us to heaven if we walk with Him in faithful love.