25th Sunday – Year A

Mass Readings

Reading 1 – Isaiah 55:6-9
Psalm – Psalm 145:2-18
Reading 2 – Philippians 2:20-27
Gospel – Matthew 20:1-16


The Privilege of the Mission by Bishop Barron

  • One of the parables that bug us most. And therefore one of the parables we need to dig into the most.
  • Story: Suppose a beautiful home caught fire. 2 sons caught fire. Battle fire. 3rd brother was working elsewhere and joins in battle to save house. 4th brother called. Flies home. 5 hours later. Firefighters involved and all that. Fire controlled. House saved. All brothers overjoyed that family home saved. Can you imagine one of the younger brothers getting raged at the older brother?? No, it would be ludicrous.
  • Point = mission has a way of concentrating the mind & focusing our attention on what matters. When you’re in the heat of the battle (pun intended) – all trivialities fall to the wayside. Who cares about who gets credit. The fire matters. In fact, the younger brothers should consider it an absolute privilege that they could save the house. The mission has a way to focus the mind.
  • The devil. The enemy of the human race. Loves this game. Distraction from what really matters.
  • How much time do you spend on spiritual trivia? Wasting on fussing about things that don’t matter at all… Who gets more credit?
  • Rather, we have a stunning privilege to contribute to the mission of the kingdom of God. Go back to parable now. What a tremendous opportunity we have been given. The privilege to work 8 hours for this great good.
  • The house is on fire! Don’t let the enemy distract you from what matters – the privilege of working in the Lord’s vineyard.


Light of the World by Hans Urs von Balthasar

  • In the parable of the workers in the vineyard, it is important to pay attention to the point being made: that, out of his sovereign generosity, God very well can and constantly does exceed the bounds of distributive justice (128).
  • The first reading expresses in drastic language the way in which God’s thoughts surpass human conceptions of what is right and proper: God’s ways exceed human thinking to the same degree as heaven surpasses the earth. Divine thinking and doing are labeled mercy and forgiveness, yet, as grace, they contain in themselves a demand for conversion, a demand that is entirely just when viewed from the perspective of grace (129).
  • In the second reading, Paul gives us remarkable confirmation of the assertions we have just made… Paul lets God choose what is better for him… carrying out the will of God (129).

Brant Pitre – The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

  • Last guys – worked 1 hour in the cool of the evening.
  • First guys – worked 12 hours in the heat of the day, in “the scorching heat.” They see the last guys paid first – 1 denarius. Therefore, should they get 12 denarii now?
  • Vineyard owner – seems unjust, crazy, unfair.
  • 1st point – they already agreed on the daily rate. So not unfair based on that.
  • 2nd point – The owner of the vineyard is not being unjust because it’s his money.
  • 3rd point – watch out for spiritual envy –
  • Jesus’ key point – “so the last will be first, and the first last” – in essence, the kingdom of God turns everything upside down because God’s ways are not our ways. God is radically generous.
  • OT reading = clue to Jesus’ message today. Isaiah is talking about the ways of God’s mercy, forgiveness, steadfast love.
  • Responsorial psalm backs this up. Radical generosity and love.
  • Parable all about God’s radical mercy – that is the good news of Christianity.

St. Charles Borromeo Bible Study


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