25th Sunday in Ordinary Time - A  - September 21, 2014

What is Fair?  What is Just?

This Week's Blog:

In the parable from Matthew's gospel, Jesus implicitly asked that question of his followers.  We might determine what is fair for us, but ultimately determines what is just for everyone. 


WEEKLY BLOG LINK Can we look beyond our "rights" for the good of others?

NEW!!! VIDEOCAST!!!  In this first videocast series connecting the Catechism of the Catholic Church with the weekly gospel reading, we investigate Original Sin and the life of St. Augustine.  (Please note: the link for this videocast is to my YouTube page.)

MP3 PODCAST  In this week's audio podcast, we discuss attitudes found in ministry.  Should we be proud or humble?  What place does jealousy have in service to the Lord?

FIRST READING  The author of Isaiah 55 urged his audience “to seek the Lord where he can be found.” They should turn back to God, for his ways and his thoughts are not like those of ordinary people.

PSALM  Psalm 145 was a song of praise that emphasized style of writing over its substance.  Still, it evoked feelings of awe before the Lord.  

SECOND READING  In his letter to the Philippians, an elderly St. Paul was torn between his desire to die so he could see Christ in glory and his wish to serve the church.  God or others?  Beneath this dilemma was the desire to be with those he loved and serve them.  

GOSPEL  Matthew's gospel presented the parable of the businessman and the day laborers.  The businessman hired workers throughout the day to work in his vineyard.  He promised to pay them all the same.  At the end of the day, those who worked all day were jealous of those who only worked an hour, for their pay was equal.  Was the businessman really unfair?  Is God unfair when we work so hard, yet receive the same as those who work so little?

CHILDREN'S READINGS  In the story for the first reading, Agnes gets a big surprise for her birthday, a hot air balloon ride.  She got to see the world in a way God sees the world:  the big picture.  In the story for the gospel, Jillian worked hard to earn the privilege to play on her Grandma's player piano.  When her younger cousin Gregory hogged the piano, she felt slighted.  We might feel the same as Jillian when we work hard but we are treated unfairly.  God, however, sees our predicament differently than we do.  

CATECHISM LINK  In this first catechism link for the school year, we discuss sin and virtue.  Both point to the moral of this Sunday's parable.  The first shall be last, the humble will be first in the Kingdom.  

FAMILY ACTIVITY  Discuss the difference between what we think is fair vs. what is truly just.  Brainstorm “My Wants, Others' Needs” on a piece of newsprint to help family members understand the difference.