"Are you envious because I am generous?"
This Sunday's Gospel for Sept. 21, 2014 (25A) may be the most puzzling of the forty parables of Jesus. It is found only in Matthew. Perhaps Mark, Luke, and John were afraid to touch it. This parable is clearly about serving the Master, or working in the kingdom, but the twist here is that many of those who worked in the vineyard did not think that the wages were fairly paid.
Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sep. 21, 2014 (25A)
From the Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University
Sunday Mass Readings
Podcast of the Readings
Video of Reflections on Readings
Lecturas y Comentarios
New American Bible
Prayer of the Hours
BQ: Can a Catholic person marry a non-Catholic person?
Questions on Sunday's Readings for use by discussion groups,
prayer groups, or for individual prayer.
Book of the prophet Isaiah, Chapter 55, Verses 6-9
1. “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call on him while he is near.” Is God always near? Can God always be found? Name some times in your day when it is easier to find God than at others. What will help you remember to “seek God” in all the areas of your life?
2. Isaiah is writing about a call to conversion in this reading. How does this apply to you? How long do you withhold mercy when your best friend offends you? On the next level, do you have mercy on the perpetrators of the 9/11 ordeal, or the people committing genocide in the Sudan? Does God ever withhold mercy or pardon? Discuss.
Responsorial Psalm: 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18
1. Our psalmist says he will bless the Lord every day and praise His name forever and ever.
What does it mean to you to 'bless the Lord?' Each day how do you give honor and praise to God?
2. The Psalm says the Lord is 'compassionate' toward all His works. In what way do you imitate the Lord by showing compassion toward your family and the members of your community,
and to strangers in your midst?
Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians, Chapter 1, Verses 20c-24, 27a
1. Who “magnifies” the Lord for you? Is it true that every time you are around these people you feel as though Christ is somehow present? Why is that? What is it about them you would like to emulate?
2. What did Paul mean when he said, “For to me life is Christ and death is gain”? What do you think comprised “fruitful labor” for Paul since he had to stay in the “flesh”? What is your “fruitful labor”?
According to Matthew, Chapter 20, Verses 1-16a
1. How would grace be handed out if people made the rules? How would you feel about God’s ways if they were like our ways, if God’s bountiful generosity did not exceed the level of simple distributive justice?
2. This Gospel reading must be about outrageous generosity, if it is not about strict justice. What is the message for you in your everyday life?
Online Sunday Bible Study Group
Please share below your reflections on the Sunday Readings. May we be blessed by God's words as reflected in your thoughts and experience-sharing.