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Homily For Ordinary 26 - Year A
Friar Sydney Mascarenhas. O.F.M., Ph.D


     The following Homily is provided by Friar Sidney as a way
     of enriching the ministry of the Word as presented through
     this web site.  Friar Sidney, who has spent much of his
     ministry in India, is currently a Professor of Philosophy
     in Rome.  He can be reached at smascarenhas@ofm.org.  The texts
     used by Friar Sydney come from the Roman Lectionary - which in
     most points agrees with the Revised Common Lectionary.


READINGS:  
Ezechiel 18:25-28.  Philippians 2:1-11.  Matthew 21:28-32.
  
  
INTRODUCTION: 
Work is an essential part of our life. Often it reveals our
status in life. Let us reflect today on how Christians
should work.
  
  
HOMILY:
We live in a world of cutthroat competition.  We live in a
world where, if we do not care for our needs, no one is
going to bother about them. 
  
Today's readings, therefore, are very shocking.
  
Injustice and inequality exist.  It is certain that these
injustices and inequalities do not have God as their origin.
That is what the first reading is trying to tell us. 
Injustice and inequalities seem to spur us to competition.
Each wants to be first.  Each wants to excel his neighbour.
Each wants a larger house and a bigger salary.
  
The second reading is a real killer of this sense of
competition that drives life.
  
Just imagine a motor racer consider another racer better
than himself!  Just imagine a teacher immagine his student
more learned than himself!  Just imagine a business man
consider another better than himself.  I am sure, Cassius
Clay, would never have boxed his way to many titles if he
considered his opponents better than himself.
  
Charity begins at home!  Is this not the principle that we
learn from the cradle to the grave? 
  
So what does St. Paul envisage by: 'There must be no
competition among you, no conceit; but everybody is to be
self-effacing. Always consider the other person to be better
than yourself so that nobody thinks of his own interests
first but everybody thinks of other people's interest
instead.'
  
Is this advice not a killer of the sense of free market? 
How can we always consider the other person better than our
self?  If we fashion our life on such a principle, would we
ever come up in life?
  
The Gospel speaks about two sons.  They are both invited to
work in the vineyard today.  The elder proved better than
what he promised.  The younger promised more than he proved.
The point is that we are all called to work in God's
vineyard.
  
Do we realize this?
  
If we are Christian, then, we will realize that we have
given our assent to work in God's Kingdom.  If we realize
this, then, we will be less concerned about having the
lion's share of everything and more concerned about working
for God's Kingdom on earth.  If we realize this, we will
exploit one another less and be more concerned about living
as co-workers in God's vineyard.  If we realize this, we
will try to let our deeds match our words.  If we realize
this, we will live as brothers and sisters of one Father in
Heaven.  If we realize this, then, God's Spirit will help us
to find ways to co-operate for the good of all.  If we
realize this, we will rather compete at being good fellow-
workers in the vineyard. 
  
Shalom!


copyright - Friar Sydney Mascarenhas and  Rev. Richard J. Fairchild 1999 - 2005
            please acknowledge the appropriate author if citing these sermons.


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