Readings – 23 August 2017 – Wednesday
First Reading: Judges 9: 6-15
6 And all the men of Sichem were gathered together, and all the families of the city of Mello: and they went and made Abimelech king, by the oak that stood in Sichem.
7 This being told to Joatham, he went and stood on the top of mount Garizim: and lifting up his voice, he cried, and said: Hear me, ye men of Sichem, so may God hear you.
8 The trees went to anoint a king over them: and they said to the olive tree: Reign thou over us.
9 And it answered: Can I leave my fatness, which both gods and men make use of, to come to be promoted among the trees?
10 And the trees said to the fig tree: Come thou and reign over us.
11 And it answered them: Can I leave my sweetness, and my delicious fruits, and go to be promoted among the other trees?
12 And the trees said to the vine: Come thou and reign over us.
13 And it answered them: Can I forsake my wine, that cheereth God and men, and be promoted among the other trees?
14 And all the trees said to the bramble: Come thou and reign over us.
15 And it answered them: If indeed you mean to make me king, come ye and rest under my shadow: but if you mean it not, let fire come out from the bramble, and devour the cedars of Libanus.
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 21: 2-3, 4-5, 6-7
Lord, in your strength the king is glad.
2 In thy strength, O Lord, the king shall joy; and in thy salvation he shall rejoice exceedingly.
3 Thou hast given him his heart’s desire: and hast not withholden from him the will of his lips.
4 For thou hast prevented him with blessings of sweetness: thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones.
5 He asked life of thee: and thou hast given him length of days for ever and ever.
6 His glory is great in thy salvation: glory and great beauty shalt thou lay upon him.
7 For thou shalt give him to be a blessing for ever and ever: thou shalt make him joyful in gladness with thy countenance.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern the reflections and thoughts of the heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel: Matthew 20: 1-16
"Do you begrudge my generosity?"
1 The kingdom of heaven is like to an householder, who went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
2 And having agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
3 And going out about the third hour, he saw others standing in the market place idle.
4 And he said to them: Go you also into my vineyard, and I will give you what shall be just.
5 And they went their way. And again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did in like manner.
6 But about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing, and he saith to them: Why stand you here all the day idle?
7 They say to him: Because no man hath hired us. He saith to them: Go you also into my vineyard.
8 And when evening was come, the lord of the vineyard saith to his steward: Call the labourers and pay them their hire, beginning from the last even to the first.
9 When therefore they were come, that came about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
10 But when the first also came, they thought that they should receive more: and they also received every man a penny.
11 And receiving it they murmured against the master of the house,
12 Saying: These last have worked but one hour, and thou hast made them equal to us, that have borne the burden of the day and the heats.
13 But he answering said to one of them: Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst thou not agree with me for a penny?
14 Take what is thine, and go thy way: I will also give to this last even as to thee.
15 Or, is it not lawful for me to do what I will? is thy eye evil, because I am good?
16 So shall the last be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection: The Lord Jesus wants to fill each one of us with the power and strength of the Holy Spirit so we can bear great fruit for God's kingdom (the fruit of peace, joy, righteousness, and love) and also bring the fruit of his kingdom to our neighbor as well. We labor for the Lord to bring him praise, honor, and glory. And we labor for our neighbor for their welfare with the same spirit of loving-kindness and compassion which the Lord has shown to us.
Paul the Apostle reminds us, "Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not others, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward - you are serving the Lord Christ" (Colossians 3:23-24). Do you perform your daily tasks and responsibilities with cheerfulness and diligence for the Lord's sake? And do you give generously to others, especially to those in need of your care and support?
Prayer: "Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may serve you joyfully and serve my neighbor willingly with a generous heart, not looking for how much I can get, but rather looking for how much I can give." Amen
Empowered to serve with a joyful and generous spirit.