25th Sunday of Ordinary Time Year A

25th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle A

Pulpit Plan

Theme : Crazy Generosity!

1st Reading:     Isaiah 55:6-9

Responsorial Psalm:     Ps 145

2nd Reading:     Philippians 1:20-24.27

Gospel :           Matthew 20:1-16

  • What do you think of this vineyard owner?
    • What is your gut reaction to what he did?
    • Since when does it make sense to pay the guys hired at the last hour the same as those hired at the beginning of the day?
      • It’s hard not to sympathize with those hired at the 1st
      • We feel for them.
      • To our modern way of thinking, it doesn’t seem fair.
      • It goes against our sense of equal pay for equal work.
      • If modern unions had existed in ancient Israel, there would have been protests. A strike would have been called against the landowner, and none of the grapes would have been harvested in time.
    • Biblical scholars writing in four different centuries have had this to say about this parable:
      • One commentator from the 19th century wrote “This parable is harder to interpret than any other which our Saviour uttered.”
      • Another from the 16th century said, “We are confronted here with the most puzzling of all the parables.”
      • A third from the last century wrote that this parable “irritates the modern listener because it goes against sound human logic.”
      • And a fourth writing in 2001 said “this parable, more than any other is likely to offend the modern readers’ sense of equity.”
    • “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord”
    • Despite the offense taken by the workers hired early in the morning, they were paid a just wage.
      • It was the commonly accepted wage.
      • It was the wage for which they had agreed to work, and it was a sufficient wage to meet their needs and provide for their families.
        • The owner paid them what they needed to be paid.
      • However, he also gave the other workers what they needed.
        • Not what they deserved, but what they needed. Anything less and they would have been unable to feed their families.
        • Imagine the guy hired at the last hour, trying to make do with only 1/12th of a living wage.
          • The landowner, because he was so generous, gave him what the worker needed.
        • It’s the same with us.
          • God doesn’t give us what we deserve. He gives us what we need.
        • No matter how little we deserve it. No matter how small and weak our effort, God gives us what we need.
        • Salvation isn’t about what we deserve, it’s about what God gives.
        • As we look around our community, family, friends and work colleagues we see real need!
          • Would you not love it if everyone got everything they needed – including their need for God?
        • They can; but they need GRAZY GENEROUS Christians to help them!
          • They need crazies like you and me!
          • Are you crazy to do that?
        • When we speak to them of Jesus and his CRAZY, GENEROUS LOVE – then they have a chance of receiving all they need from God!
        • Missionary Disciples keep going out to look for those who are in need!
        • Missionary Disciples keep inviting them into the vineyard of the Lord – where they will receive all they need!
        • You know that no matter how hard we work. No matter how good we are, if God were only to give us what we deserve, we would never earn enough for our salvation.
        • Our only hope is for God to give us what we need.
        • God is like the CRAZY GENEROUS landowner.
          • He gives all – me and you and all whom we invite – what we need.
          • Doesn’t that make you feel really good – deep down in your gut?!
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