Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time W/E 09/23/2023-09/24/2023
What is mercy? Or, rather how is it weighed when one sins against it and against justice? The Law, if not the prophets has demanded that sin be an appropriate and just response which asks for a weight to be measured against the injury and which is appropriate in measure to its injury. But Jesus demands a response to such which is replete with joy and so is at first and always merciful. How difficult it was for those described in the parable proposed by Jesus to understand that those who had arrived late in the day for work would receive the same wage as those who had come on time and even early. Such a response did not meet the demands of justice. But Jesus is teaching a lesson on the mercy of God available in the coming of the fulfillment of the Law, which was available in Him. The new understanding of mercy available in Christ was and is limitless and overflowing. It is not held to the demands and strictures of the scales and weight of justice but announces the capacity of Christ, by His death and Resurrection to take on the sins of the many and the weight of the burdens of all. It is a new way of understanding retribution which surpasses the Law and even the prophets and emphasizes the magnanimous gift of Christ's life given for all. Imagine if we had been called early in the day to work and received only the same wage as those who had arrived late? We would, by the judgement of the world, be angry and feeling that we had been cheated. But Jesus announces a new and plentiful forgiveness which includes the bountiful blessing of Almighty God. So we are called to respond to one another not by the standards of justice but of love. It is a difficult pursuit and calling but it is the way of Christ, the way of the disciple. We remember the words of Jesus that the last shall be first and the first shall be last.
Soon we will announce the Grand Annual Collection and ask in generosity and of necessity which will lift up our parish for the coming year. Please be generous to this collection as we ask for a gift of $400 per family and or parishioner to assist us with upcoming expenditures and necessities. Our goal, which we have reached each year of my administration, is $40,000. Please be prayerful and generous. Next week we will gather to celebrate the Parish Picnic after the 11:00 a.m. Mass. Please come and bring something to share with others, getting to know those folks you do not ordinarily see after some of the Masses. If you have a pet, bring them to be blessed through the intercession of St. Francis! Pray for good weather!
Thanks and have a great week, God Bless, Fr. Joe