Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time- Year -A

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

I Confess:

I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do; and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

Gloria:

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, Heavenly King, O God, almighty Father. Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us; You take away the sin of the world, receive our prayer; You are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For you alone are the Holy One; you alone are the Lord. You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God, the Father. Amen

Opening Prayer:

Creator God, you call us to love and serve you with body, mind, and spirit through loving your creation and our sisters and brothers. Open our hearts in compassion and receive these petitions on behalf of the needs of the church and the world. Amen

 

First Reading: Is 55:6-9

 

Seek the LORD while he may be found, call him while he is near. Let the scoundrel forsake his way, and the wicked his thoughts; let him turn to the LORD for mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.

Responsorial: Ps 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18

R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.

Every day will I bless you, and I will praise your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD and highly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable.

R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.

The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great  kindness. The LORD is good to all and compassionate toward all his works.

R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.

 
The LORD is just in all his ways and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.
 
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.

 

Second Reading: Phil 1:20c-24, 27a

Brothers and sisters: Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me life is Christ, and death is gain. If I go on living in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me. And I do not know which I shall choose. I am caught between the two. I long to depart this life and be with Christ, for that is far better. Yet that I remain in the flesh is more necessary for your benefit. Only, conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Open our hearts, O Lord, to listen to the words of your Son.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel: Mt 20:116a

Jesus told his disciples this parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire labourers for his vineyard. After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. Going out about nine o’clock, the landowner saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.’ So they went off. And he went out again around noon, and around three o’clock, and did likewise. Going out about five o’clock, the landowner found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’

When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Summon the labourers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.’ When those who had started about five o’clock came, each received the usual daily wage. So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage. And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’ He said to one of them in reply, ‘My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?’ Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Homily:

The Gospel we heard portrays the unthinkable generosity of God which we might find indigestible. During the week we had reflected on this gospel with different groups of children at the catechism, and invariably all of them said that it is not fair that everyone was give the same payment. well, such generosity of God confronts our ways of thinking, reasoning and acting because as the first reading says, “my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways.” I leave it there, for you to reflect on the gospel and the first reading but we will reflect together the second reading we heard from the letter of Paul to the church at Philippi. The context of this reading is that Paul is in prison waiting for his trial and he does not know what the end of the trial will be. His life hangs on a balance. It could tip either side. He writes to the community at Philippi which he founded and encourages them to lead a godly life as he had taught them.

He could be released, which would allow him to keep up his apostolic work of preaching, teaching and healing, or he could be executed. If he were released from prison, he will continue to strengthen the Christian communities, most of which were still in infancy. He could be of use to the community. On the other hand, he does not fear his death either if he were granted execution. Not even death brings him any disappointments. In either case he is able to bear witness to Christ. Everything we have is a gift from God and the life of a Christian complete with any suffering he/she experiences, and in even death, must identify oneself in some way with Christ’s own life. This identification is the goal of every Christian.

He says, “For to me life is Christ and death is gain.” Is this saying not confusing? Yes, it is. He says it rather ambivalently, “I do not know which to prefer; I am strongly attracted to both.” If he were allowed to live, he will continue to preach about Christ. As one who believes in Christ, even if he were to die it only provides him an opportunity to see the Lord face to face as He really is, in whom he believed. And so, neither life nor death have the advantage over the other. He treats both equally because his root is on Christ and both alternatives will turn out to be good. Whether be it death or continued life, Paul was at peace. He invites his readers to cultivate a similar outlook toward life and death and to know a similar peace.

What can we learn from this letter of Paul who went through the agony of life and death situation? What are we hoping to gain ultimately? By the very fact that you and I are alive, we know that God still has some work for you and for me to do! Does somebody need our prayers? our help? our kindness? God still has something that He wants us to do or we would not be here today! As St. Augustine says, “offer the bandage of consolation,” to the sorrowful and “bind up what is broken.”

Paul so beautifully ends by saying, “Only conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Wherever we are, one must live as befits a citizen of the Kingdom of God. We must never forget the privileges and the responsibilities of citizenship of the Kingdom of God and our conduct must befit this citizenship.” The teachings of the Church make it clear that being a citizen of heaven is quite compatible with being a citizen of human society here and now. Vatican II document, Gaudium et spes, that “hope in a life to come does not take away from the importance of the duties of this life on earth but rather adds to it by giving new motives for fulfilling those duties.”

“If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” Romans 14:8

Nicene Creed:

 

I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins, and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.

 

 

Prayers of Faithful:
That the pope, bishops, priests and deacons will be signs of God’s living presence among us as they preach the Gospel.
Lord Hear us.
 
For world leaders and our government officials that they may govern with humility and ensure the justice, peace and rights of all.
Lord Hear us.
 
We raise up our prayer for front-line health and community workers, that they stay safe and strong as they devote themselves to the care of others.
Lord Hear us.
 
We pray for the poor and for those facing financial hardships because of the pandemic, that a national spirit of solidarity will ensure on-going support for them.
Lord Hear us.
 
We pray for those suffering the pain of loneliness and isolation, that family and friends will find ways of assuring them they are cherished.
Lord Hear us.
 
That the sick and the hospitalised be restored to good health and that the departed family and friends may enjoy eternal happiness.
Lord Hear us.
 
Let us pray in silence. (Pause)
Lord Hear us.

 

Prayer of Spiritual Communion

 

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if you were already there, and I unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.   (St. Alphonsus)

 

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

 

Concluding Prayer:

O God teach us your ways of justice and lead us to practice your generosity, so that we may live a life worthy of the gospel make known through your Son Jesus Christ, our Saviour. Amen.

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