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Our Lady of Victory / St. Malachy
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Our Lady of Victory
490 Charles Street
Gatineau, Qu?bec
J8L 2K5
(819)986-3763
olv@videotron.ca

Mass:     Sunday   9:00 AM
            Thursday 10:00 AM




St. Malachy
3889 Route 315
Mayo, Qu?bec
J8L 3Z8
(819)986-3763
olv@videotron.ca

Mass: Saturday 7:00 PM
 


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Fr. Albanus' Reflections on the Sunday Liturgy - 20 September 2020 - 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time



God is Generous

First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Isaiah 55.6-9
The Lord is near to all who call on him
Philippians 1.20-24,27
Matthew 20.1-16
Todayís readings speak about Godís generosity, the extravagant grace of the merciful God. God is both just and merciful, but His mercy often overrides His justice. In the first reading, the Prophet Isaiah reminds his compatriots, exiled in Babylon due to their unfaithfulness to God, that God is more merciful than they are and more forgiving. Contrary to their conviction that God is just like humans, who gets mean and mad and incapable of forgetting their sins, the Prophet tells them that it is big mistake to imagine a God like themselves. God, he says, is ready to pardon the infidelity which has resulted in their being exiled. He is not a human person; His way of thinking and acting will always surprise us. He will bless them with material and spiritual blessings. The Prophet therefore advises them and us to seek the Lord and put aside evil ways in order to receive His mercy and forgiveness. This prepares us for the Gospel. Paul in the letter to the Philippians, offers himself as a model of total submission to Godís grace and Godís will. He is ready to live continuing his mission if that is Godís will. He is also ready to die and join the Lord if that is Godís will. ďFor to me, living is Christ and dying is gainĒ (Phil. 1:21).

In the Gospel Jesus tells a parable of the landowner, a story that does not respect the normal principles of agreement. It is a strange parable of a landowner who hired laborers at five different times during the course of the day to work in his vineyard, but paid the same wage for a full dayís work to all of them beginning with the last who only worked for one hour. This story of landownerís love and generosity represent Godís love and generosity to all of us. It shows the difference between Godís perspective and ours. It is a lesson on Godís abiding love and mercy for all people regardless of their various extenuating circumstances. By this story, Jesus is trying to put across the message that salvation is a free gift of God. We cannot question Him about His dispensation of gifts which may at times appears to be disproportionate and tilted towards some people whom we consider as unworthy.

Godís ways are not our ways. God does not work from the arithmetic of a calculator but from the fullness of His own heart. It is not the time-span of service that counts for God but the quality of our commitment and service. Moreover, there is more to life than the logic of action and reward. No matter when and how we find our ways to God, the point is that all receive the same stipend. We are not paid a wage for serving God. It is all a free gift. Since the eternal gift is eternal life, how could one be given more eternal life than another? Godís love is unlimited and all inclusive. God is generous. We must not imagine that He is small minded like ourselves. For Jesus, the only attitude to be taken in front of our Heavenly Father is that of a child who does not claim any right, cannot merit anything, who always expects his father to be kind to him. There is nothing we can merit from God; from Him, we can only receive gifts and be grateful. Do we allow God to do things His way, or do we get furious when He diverts from our way of operating? If we resent Godís freedom to show mercy to whom He pleases, not only do we repeat the grumble of the laborers in the parable, but we forget that we ourselves are beneficiaries of His mercy. God has a clear prejudice in favor of lifeís latecomers who find themselves with some form of handicap Ė the physically crippled, the psychologically crippled, the spiritually crippled, and the economically crippled. They are the prodigal sons, the outcasts, the overlooked and the ones people think they can safely ignore or shun. We may be the ones!

Happy Sunday!

 

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490 Charles Street • Gatineau • Quťbec • J8L 2K5
Telephone: (819) 986-3763
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