25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Isaiah 55:6-9 Philippians 1:20-24, 27 Mathew20:1-16
Theme: The Ways of God Are Different from Our Ways
The readings we have for this Sunday point out the fact that our human ways are quite different from the ways of God. This is clearly seen in the first reading and in the gospel. In the second reading, St. Paul shows that he understands the fact that everything in life is dependent on God and not on man. Thus, he says, “Whether we are dead or alive, we belong to God.”
The words of Paul today remind me of an incident that happened some years ago. There was this elderly man in the community where I was working, who was said by the people to be very wicked and evil. As a result, the people were scared of him and avoided him. Interestingly, all his children were our parishioners. One day after morning mass the son rushed to the parish and said the father is sick and requested to see a priest. It was a big surprise, when we got to the hospital he requested for prayer and baptism. Knowing the implication of what he was requesting for and his past antecedents in the community, I needed some credible witnesses. So, I asked the son to get me two or three credible parishioners to be witness. The son was able to get them, and the father was baptised. I was still on the way when I got a call that the old man has died. The villagers refused that he will be buried by the church, it took the intervention of the bishop for the man to be allowed to be buried by the church. According to the people, because of all his evil deeds in the community, he should not be buried by the church.
This story points out the fact that the standard of God is different from our human standard. We don’t know how much effort it may have taken the old man to muster the courage and request for a priest; only God knows. That is the mercy of God at play in the life of the old man. In every situation we find ourselves in life, always remember that it is God that has the final say; until he speaks, anything is still possible. This is because his ways are indeed different from our human ways. What we need is to trust and believe in him and he will change the narrative of our lives.
In the second reading, St. Paul points out the fact that he desires to be with God, but then he ended up by saying that what is more important to him, is to settle for what God wants. This should teach us to always pray for the will of God in our lives; by so doing we will be on the same page with God, and it will ultimately be for our own good. If we can do this daily in our lives, we can be rest assured that the saying of Jesus that, the first will be the last and the last will be the first will not be our story. May God grant us the grace to always seek his face in all that we do. Amen. Peace be with you!