25th Sunday in Ordinary Time - A - September 24, 2017

What's Fair? What's Just?

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.

Sunday Studies:

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?

Other Resources:

DAILY READINGS Readings for the 24th Week in Ordinary Time

FEAST OF ST. MATTHEW  September 21, 2017

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.