Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time, August 19
God Owes Us Nothing! And Yet, He Offers Us Everything! For He Freely and Generously Gives to Us from Divine Love.
“My friend…am I not free to do as I wish…? Are you envious because I am generous?” – In today’s parable about the laborers in the vineyard, we are introduced to the extraordinary generosity and compassion of God.
In today’s Gospel Reading, Jesus teaches us that all who respond positively to God’s call, at whatever time of our lives, whether it be from the moment of our First Communion when we were children, or whether it be later in life, or even upon our death bed – each of us, as God’s children, will be the same in His Divine Eyes with respect to inheriting the benefits of eternal life in His Kingdom, which is the gift from God Himself, freely and generously given out of Divine Love!
Over the past few days, Jesus has been teaching His disciples, and each of us as well, the mind of God concerning human behavior – divorce, being child-like, and the danger that wealth can become an obstacle rather than a blessing for one’s salvation if materialism becomes the controlling element in one’s life.
And Jesus is using this parable today to continue to emphasize the truth that everything we have is a gift from God – freely given, freely offered out of Divine Love.
Today’s parable also teaches us that God owes us NOTHING!!
We are told today that we cannot “earn” blessings by our own efforts. We cannot earn our way into Heaven. There are so many in the world who believe that God “owes” them for the good works they do.
On the contrary, the opposite is true. God owes us nothing! And yet, God offers us everything!
He has given to each of us the gift of life; He has freely given us the gift of a piece of His own Divinity, our immortal soul; He has chosen that you and I, reading this meditation today, share in a common faith – our belief in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and in the teachings of our Church.
And He has also given us the gift of free will, which means that we can choose to either return His Love or not; we can choose to either comply with His Commandments or not; we can either choose to give Him the glory and honor that is rightfully His due or we can choose to turn our backs on Him and walk away.
The people of the Old Testament, especially those in our First Reading today, had no true understanding of the selfless nature of their God and what God was asking of them. In the free-will choices they made, their leaders chose to live lives which gave themselves honor, and many misguided their people to follow them in worshiping false gods and unholy lives, lifestyles which became an abomination to the God of their fathers.
There are many people today who make the same kinds of choices, freely choosing the market place to be their god, freely choosing to live their lives with greed and selfish desires, freely choosing to turn their backs on the moral teachings which God established so long ago. And all of these misguided decisions are to what end?
Sadly, many people today choose to turn their backs and walk away from the generosity which God desires to freely give to His children. He asks only two things of us – “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” And “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus asks us in today’s parable, “Are you envious because I am generous?”
It is because of God’s limitless generosity and Infinite Love that we have the gift of free will. It is because God loves us that we have the freedom to choose to “do” anything we want. And it is because of God’s Love for us that we have the freedom to reject that Love, or make a free-will choice to embrace it and return it!
The greatest attribute of God’s Love is His Divine Mercy, which He desires to share with all of us, His children, if only we would humble ourselves and, with a truly contrite spirit, open our hearts to His offer – inviting Him to become an integral part of our daily lives, inviting Him to be our Shepherd, to always be at our side, guiding us and protecting us.
Today’s parable teaches us that it is never too late to reach out for His compassion and forgiveness. The gift of eternal life is freely offered to all who embrace His Love and seek His Mercy, and who freely choose to express our “yes” by the way we live our lives.
God owes us nothing! Yet, He offers us everything!
With an open, humble and selfLESS heart, may we say “yes” by the way we give of ourselves to others – as God freely and continuously gives of Himself to each of us! †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “My friend…am I not free to do as I wish…? Are you envious because I am generous?” (Matthew 20:13b, 15)
- “I give you thanks, O LORD; though you have been angry with me, your anger has abated, and you have consoled me. God indeed is my salvation; I am confident and unafraid. For the LORD is my strength and my might, and he has been my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:1b-2)
- “My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
- “All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change. He willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (James 1:17-18)
- “I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD. The lost I will search out, the strays I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, and the sick I will heal; but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd them in judgment.” (Ezekiel 34:15-16)
- “The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. In green pastures he makes me lie down; to still waters he leads me; he restores my soul. He guides me along right paths for the sake of his name.” (Psalm 23:1b-3)
- “In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)
- “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…and I know mine and mine know me.” (John 10:11, 14b)
- “Jesus replied, ‘The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.’” (Mark 12:29-31)
- “For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that for your sake he became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)
- “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
- “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Prayer for the Day
“Eternal and Most Loving God,
I recognize that I have not truly lived
my life for You up until now.
I have been living for myself and I now realize that is wrong.
I need You in my life; I desire You in my life.
“I acknowledge the completed work
of Your Son Jesus Christ in giving His life
for me on the Cross at Calvary,
and I long to receive the forgiveness You have made
freely available to me through this sacrifice.
“Come into my life now, Lord.
Take up residence in my heart
and be my King, my Lord and my Savior.
“From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin,Salvation Prayer (author unknown)
or the desire to please myself,
but I will follow You all the days of my life.
Those days I now place in Your hands.
I ask this in Jesus’ Most Precious and Holy Name. Amen.”