Tuesday, August 16, 2005



AUGUST 17, 2005

Please offer a special prayer for my brother Ordonio de la Pena who is
critically ill at the hospital in Bacolod, Philippines because of heart
- Fr. Rick, NY Archdiocese


JUDGES 9:6-15
All the citizens of Shechem and all Beth-millo came together and
proceeded to make Abimelech king by the terebinth at the memorial
pillar in Shechem. When this was reported to him, Jotham went to the
top of Mount Gerizim and, standing there, cried out to them in a loud
voice: "Hear me, citizens of Shechem, that God may then hear you! Once
the trees went to anoint a king over themselves. So they said to the
olive tree, 'Reign over us.' But the olive tree answered them, 'Must I
give up my rich oil, whereby men and gods are honored, and go to wave
over the trees?' Then the trees said to the fig tree, 'Come; you reign
over us!' But the fig tree answered them, 'Must I give up my sweetness
and my good fruit, and go to wave over the trees?' Then the trees said
to the vine, 'Come you, and reign over us.' But the vine answered them,
'Must I give up my wine that cheers gods and men, and go to wave over
the trees?' Then all the trees said to the buckthorn, 'Come; you reign
over us!' But the buckthorn replied to the trees, 'If you wish to
anoint me king over you in good faith, come and take refuge in my
shadow. Otherwise, let fire come from the buckthorn and devour the
cedars of Lebanon.'"

MATTHEW 20:1-16
Jesus told his disciples this parable: "The Kingdom of heaven is like a
landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. After
agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his
vineyard. Going out about nine o'clock, he 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, he 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
laborers 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."

To most of us living in our modern business environment, this
parable of the workers in the vineyard contradicts our concept of work
and compensation. In this parable, the owner of the vineyard seems to
be unfair to the workers who worked more hours. Yet, through this
parable, Jesus emphasizes that in God's kingdom, it is God's generosity
and mercy that really matters.

This parable is very similar to the parable of the prodigal son. If we
recall the protest of the elder brother on the generosity and mercy of
their father, we can better understand what Jesus is telling us in this
gospel. Are we like the worker who worked longer hours or more like
the elder brother in the parable of the prodigal son?

Perhaps some of us are disappointed with what the vineyard owner did.
His actions did not seem right or fair. Perhaps we feel this way
because we miss the point of this parable. For those of us who serve
in the church or in our communities, we may unconsciously have the
attitude of the early workers or the elder brother. We sometimes may
feel that our work is not appreciated, and as a result, we risk a
change in the focus of our service.

Isn't it better to be happy when a brother is given more than he
deserves? Isn't it better to celebrate the generosity of a father,
employer or anyone for that matter? Isn't it also a generous and
wonderful gesture on our part to be glad for somebody else's good
fortune? Isn't even better to help a brother or sister in need? Who
knows, one day we may be on the receiving end of a generous gesture?

We need to be reminded that we are doing God's work and not our own.
We must always be reminded that it is through God's generosity that
leads us to the path to heaven. It is through God's love, despite our
unworthiness, that gives us the hope that one day we will experience
His glory.

Father in Heaven, we praise and thank you for your great generosity and
mercy. We thank you for trusting us to participate in your creative
work of building your kingdom. Forgive us for our failures when we
fail to stay focused on you. Give us the grace to always fix our eyes
on you and not on ourselves as we serve you. Amen.


- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the speedy recovery and safekeeping of Martin Allen Kunz.
- for the speedy recovery of Fr. Maximo Barbero, S.J.
- for the speedy recovery of Fr. Santiago Leon, S.J.
- for the special intentions of Donna V.
- for the personal intentions of Wayne, Nadine, Noah and Nellie
- for the guidance and enlightenment of Joseph D. and John C.
- for the special intentions of Julie.
- for the healing of Kam Biak.
- for the personal intentions of Jordan D.
- for the health of Mic Mic and Mae Mae
- in thanksgiving for all the blessings received by the Chan family.
- for the speedy recovery of Jan
- for the speedy recovery of Elizabeth
- for the speedy recovery of John
- healings for Elizabeth, Angela's dad, Alan, Phil, Pam, Joyce & BB
- for the personal intentions of Jane Figuerres-Guillermo.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Lynette Yu Ngo
- Birthday: Ma. Cecilia Pacheco Navarro
- for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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