by Sr. Barbara Ficenec, ND
Today’s thoughts are reflections of St Matthew’s Gospel regarding the parable of Jesus about a generous landowner. (Matthew 20:1-16a)
In hiring laborers for his vineyard, the owner agreed with them for the usual daily wage. Interestingly, all workers did not begin to help at the same hour; there was quite a discrepancy in the time frame among them.
So, when evening came and the laborers were summoned and each received the same wage, there was dissatisfaction with the landowner who replied, “My friends, I am not cheating anyone. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? ...Am I not free to do as I wish? …Are you envious because I am generous?”
Over my years it took me some to get the lesson Jesus taught here. I knew life is not fair; all my young years there were rules for fair games results and for having the same privileges as other kids.
Gradually, my mother’s oft repeated and sincere response brought me an important insight. LIFE isn’t always fair, but LOVE is.
Love is incredible; it causes good things to happen. It makes us happy. It lightens every carried burden. Above all, it’s the basic important request of Jesus for each of us, “LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.”
Any effort to define LOVE and to understand it is difficult. (Try it - okay. It is so worth the effort.) God bless us all!
by Kris Lanik, Notre Dame Sisters Associate
The theme throughout today’s readings from Holy Scripture has to do with forgiveness. We must always realize that forgiveness is a two way street. We need to seek forgiveness, as we are all likely to do. However, forgiveness is also something we need to give to others.
Jesus is preparing his followers for the time his kingdom is to continue after he is no longer physically present. His focus is on building up harmony among his followers. His teaching is quite simple; we must learn how to forgive our sisters and brothers. It sounds like an easy task; it isn’t. It is only by the grace of Jesus that this is accomplished.
As we reflect on the Gospel reading, notice Jesus’ lesson ends with a warning. Christ always forgives us if we come to him with a humble and sorrowful heart. He expects the same from us. We need to forgive others just as we are forgiven.
by Sr. Mary Kay Meagher, ND
This Sunday’s readings are quite short, direct, to the point and powerful. They don’t lend themselves to equivocal discussion. They deserve honest reflection. Most importantly they are a call to action.
Read carefully all three, not focusing on the dos and don’ts but on the major theme which directly addresses our encountered relationships whether they are complex, supportive, broken, growing etc.
At times when reading these passages we focus on how we can love, accept, and care. But a focus we may tend to give less attention to is in every relationship. There is the essential of reconciliation whether it is with our God, ourselves or another person or group or community or nation. In other words those are those in our lives we call “other.”
By Sr. Mary Hlas, ND
Poor Peter! In today’s Gospel, Peter can’t seem to say the right thing. He was praised for calling Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. Then later when Jesus shared with His disciples that He will go to Jerusalem, suffer, and be killed, Peter responded, “No such thing will ever happen to you.” Jesus told Peter, “Get behind me, Satan.” He also said, “You are thinking as human beings think and not as God does.”
As we walk through life each day, it might be good to check out thoughts. When all is going well, what are our thoughts? When nothing seems to be going right, then what are our thoughts?
Our prayer today might be a simple one: “Jesus, teach me to think as you think.”