25th Sunday in Ordinary Time- A- 2020

My brothers and sisters in the Lord!

Today we celebrate Catechetical Sunday. We give thanks to God the Father for the gift of our Religious Education Program under the direction of Fr. John Ginty, our new Director of Religious Education our Coordinator Marta Cirelli-Kuebler; our Catholic School, Good Shepherd Academy, under the direction of Ms Jaclyn Pilat, Principal. We are also grateful for the presence of Holy Family Day Nursery, under the direction of Sr. Cathy Lynn F.S.S.E and all of our Catechists and teachers who together with the Religious Sisters give of their time in nurturing our children in the Faith of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We also give thanks to God for the Catechists in the Neo Catechumenal Way under the direction of Fr. Francesco. This year we are blest also with a Seminarian, Roberto Moreno, who will be helping with the Confirmation group this year. May God continue to bless you for the “GIFT OF YOU” in our parish family! And to all our parents, we remind you that you are the ones who prepare the soil and plant the first seeds of faith in your child from the moment you bring your child to receive the Sacrament of Baptism. On Catechetical Sunday, we not only highlight the work of the catechists in parishes and schools, but we also commend parents and guardians and encourage them to take seriously their role in making their Catholic households a place where faith is passed on to the next generation. This is the reason we have this Rite of Blessing on this Sunday each year.
We find ourselves at Election Countdown with about 45 days until Election Day 2020. We are in the midst of hearing political parties making promises, and we know what we expect them to say. The basic things are taxes would be reduced, more money will be available for schools, for health care and welfare. New and ambitious lower income house building programs are on the table. Public transportation will be a top priority and more will be spent on road and bridge repairs as well as building new ones. . but suppose a political party presented something like introducing a revolutionary new wage policy. Instead of an hourly rate of pay; A daily rate would be established for the worker. It would mean that whether you spend just one hour a day at work or a full eight hours, you would be paid the same wage. To make it crystal clear an enhanced daily minimum wage would be in effect whether they work for one hour or eight hours. It would be a progressive new deal. Employer would be compelled to comply.
If you think about it, such a suggestion would be met with outrage. It would not be fair; it would not be right or just. And those who worked for a whole in a factory or at a desk or doing heavy manual labor would be furious and envious of those who had worked only for an hour.
As we listen to the Gospel, Jesus was not advocating some strange new social teaching when he told the story of an employer who did this. The key to his parables is in the words “why be envious because I am generous?” it is a parable about the extraordinary generosity and love of God. It is not about human rights; it is , Jesus said, about what the kingdom of God is like.
So in the parable there are people waiting around the marketplace, idle, lost and unemployed, maybe even misbehaving; although they do not know it, they are waiting for the Gospel. And along comes a landowner, who of course is Jesus, and a group of them take up his invitation to work in his vineyard. A meaning comes to their life at once and they are gainfully employed in the kingdom. They are working for God, in a sense of fulfilling their purpose in life, that is living life that is pleasing to God. And the wages they will receive will be eternal life. Some hear the call later in life and their reward is the same. Even at the eleventh hour some people respond to his call, and among them we may think of the repentant thief on the cross, the words of Jesus: “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Here is a wonderful picture of Jesus walking into the Father’s presence, leading this man by the hand: with Jesus \saying: ‘here, Father, this man I Have saved.” How completely appropriate that the savior brings him the sheep that was lost; that the firs to enter the kingdom of God with him was a thief.
The fundamental point seems to be that the Church, the messenger of Jesus, is sent to preach the Gospel to every kind of situation, both young and old, with the invitation to enter the kingdom of God. SO the prophet Isaiah preached: “Seek the Lord while he is still to be found, and call to him while he is still near. Let the wicked man abandon his way, and let him turn back to the Lord who will take pity on him.”
But we can only do this, and offer a welcome to those who come to the Church from all kinds of backgrounds, if we share the minds of Christ and his love for sinners. If we think , “why should people just be able to walk into the kingdom of God, when we have disciplined ourselves and kept the commandments all our life?” WE do not have the mind of Jesus. Nor have we really understood that Jesus came into the world to seek and save those who are lost. As Pope Francis once said: “It is a phrase that we could write on the doors of our churches: “ Here Jesus welcomes sinner and invites them to his table.”
Every soul is of infinite value to God. When we love as Christ loves, without a hint of judgement , we start to see everyone saved and in the kingdom of God; those addicted and ties to a sinful life, those who have not yet come to believe, those who are hostile to the Church or consumed with selfishness or pride, as well as those whose lives have fallen apart. The Lord opens his arms to all of us.

Fr. Joe