Posts Tagged ‘labourers in the vineyard’


This year’s LISS (life in the spirit seminar) journey has given me a new perspective on Today’s first reading and Gospel.

In order for conversion of hearts there must be repentance first before God’s grace can flow. And so the bread of suffering and water of distress teaches us the effects of sin in our lives. How lost we were without our Lord in our lives. Then when we cry out to the Lord for mercy, He comes swiftly to heal, restore and nourish us. In the early weeks of the LISS, participants learn of just how much God our Father loves each and everyone of them. They begin to see how disordered their lives had become by not placing our Lord above all. Slowly but surely His grace begins to flow into their lives as they move towards full reconciliation with the Lord their God. They are then ready for the full outpouring of His love and grace through the Holy Spirit.

The LISS team and facilitators are the labourers! And the labourers are indeed few! Who wants to be a labourer? One who has to be invested and committed every week for nine weeks. To journey with, hand hold, pray fervently for and with the flock entrusted to their care. So that they can have a deep conversion experience, encounter the Lord in all His glory and become disciples (labourers) themselves. It is truly a labour of love! So then can such a labourer check their schedules to pick and choose when she or he is available to the flock? Yes Lord send me… But in my own time please? What I will and will not do? You receive without charge, give without charge! In other words no pre-conditions! Love freely and unconditionally. Only then we will see the fruits of our labour through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Here I am Lord send me! Amen

First reading

Isaiah 30:19-21,23-26 ·
The Lord God will be gracious to you and hear your cry

Thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
People of Zion, you will live in Jerusalem and weep no more. He will be gracious to you when he hears your cry; when he hears he will answer. When the Lord has given you the bread of suffering and the water of distress, he who is your teacher will hide no longer, and you will see your teacher with your own eyes. Whether you turn to right or left, your ears will hear these words behind you, ‘This is the way, follow it.’ He will send rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the bread that the ground provides will be rich and nourishing. Your cattle will graze, that day, in wide pastures. Oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat a salted fodder, winnowed with shovel and fork. On every lofty mountain, on every high hill there will be streams and watercourses, on the day of the great slaughter when the strongholds fall. Then moonlight will be bright as sunlight and sunlight itself be seven times brighter – like the light of seven days in one – on the day the Lord dresses the wound of his people and heals the bruises his blows have left.

Gospel

Matthew 9:35-10:1,5,6-8
The harvest is rich but the labourers are few

Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness.
And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.’
He summoned his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits with power to cast them out and to cure all kinds of diseases and sickness. These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them as follows: ‘Go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. And as you go, proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is close at hand. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils. You received without charge, give without charge.’


We are all called to labour to build the Kingdom of God. And His kingdom is built upon the hearts of His children in the salvation of souls. There are many opportunities and ways to do this but all we need is to respond to the call. All else will be provided for. How then do we respond to this call? Do we agree to do so only when promised a fair return? Then later on grumble expecting more for the long hours in doing so? Comparing our blessings with others who seem to work far less? Or do we respond with joy in our hearts just for being given the opportunity to labour in His love! Not concerned with returns only that we trust in Him and work to glorify the Lord our God in all that we say and do.

Some of us will be called to lead the rest closer into His Kingdom. Do we reverently pray to discern who it is the Lord our God has sent to us? To struggle and wrestle with our decision so that he or she who is chosen will lead after the heart of our Shepherd. Or do we simply cast our vote not concerned with who takes up the position so long as we don’t have to? Or else we choose someone likeable who is easily swayed to do our bidding, one who will allow us to come as we please and do as we please? In short, do we elect someone to lead us closer to heaven or closer to hell?

Lord Jesus let me joyfully bear my cross for You always. Amen

Saint Pius X pray for us…

First reading

Judges 9:6-15 ·
The tale of the trees and their king

All the leading men of Shechem and all Beth-millo gathered, and proclaimed Abimelech king by the terebinth of the pillar at Shechem.
News of this was brought to Jotham. He came and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted aloud for them to hear:

‘Hear me, leaders of Shechem,
that God may also hear you!

‘One day the trees went out
to anoint a king to rule over them.
They said to the olive tree, “Be our king!”

‘The olive tree answered them,
“Must I forego my oil which gives honour to gods and men, to stand swaying above the trees?”

‘Then the trees said to the fig tree,
“Come now, you be our king!”

‘The fig tree answered them,
“Must I forego my sweetness,
forego my excellent fruit,
to stand swaying above the trees?”

‘Then the trees said to the vine,
“Come now, you be our king!”

‘The vine answered them,
“Must I forego my wine which cheers the heart of gods and men, to stand swaying above the trees?”

‘Then all the trees said to the thorn bush,
“Come now, you be our king!”

‘And the thorn bush answered the trees, “If in all good faith you anoint me king to reign over you, then come and shelter in my shade.
If not, fire will come from the thorn bush and devour the cedars of Lebanon.”’

Gospel

Matthew 20:1-16
Why be envious because I am generous?

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner going out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard. He made an agreement with the workers for one denarius a day, and sent them to his vineyard. Going out at about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place and said to them, “You go to my vineyard too and I will give you a fair wage.” So they went. At about the sixth hour and again at about the ninth hour, he went out and did the same. Then at about the eleventh hour he went out and found more men standing round, and he said to them, “Why have you been standing here idle all day?” “Because no one has hired us” they answered. He said to them, “You go into my vineyard too.” In the evening, the owner of the vineyard said to his bailiff, “Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last arrivals and ending with the first.” So those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came forward and received one denarius each. When the first came, they expected to get more, but they too received one denarius each. They took it, but grumbled at the landowner. “The men who came last” they said “have done only one hour, and you have treated them the same as us, though we have done a heavy day’s work in all the heat.” He answered one of them and said, “My friend, I am not being unjust to you; did we not agree on one denarius? Take your earnings and go. I choose to pay the last comer as much as I pay you. Have I no right to do what I like with my own? Why be envious because I am generous?” Thus the last will be first, and the first, last.’