Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
August 18, A.D. 2004
Scripture from Today's Liturgy of the Word:
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
"The last shall be first and the first shall be last." (Matt. 20:16)
Today's readings describe the great contrast between our fallen human nature and the holiness of the Divine nature. Throughout salvation history God has sought to narrow this gap by sending us priests and prophets through whom, by word and example, He could make Himself better known to His people and so draw them closer to Himself. Ezekiel reveals, however, that even those God has chosen to tend His flock have proven themselves unfaithful, unloving and ungenerous shepherds and so made His sheep vulnerable to destruction by wild beasts. God then resolves to shepherd them Himself.
God accomplished this through His Christ, both Shepherd and Lamb, who in His divine and infinite charity offered Himslf as the final sacrifice to cleanse our sin and make us again acceptable to the Father. In contrast, today's Gospel shows man's selfish resentment toward those who were called late to work in God's vineyard yet received a full day's wages. Christ's parable teaches us that God's love and care is not measured out to us according to how much we do. He instead looks into our hearts to see our willingness to await His call patiently and then eagerly respond to His call to work, even in the last hour of our day.
Too readily we forget that God reserves all rights to how He dispenses His generosity. We still have much to learn of His wisdom and His love.
Blessed Lord, lavishly pour out Your Spirit of loving generosity upon us. Enlarge our hearts to encompass all people in Your Spirit. Amen.
- Marie Bocko, OCDS
(mlbocko at earthlink dot net)
Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
St. Jane Frances de Chantal: wife, mother and then religious
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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