Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Our Gospel calls attention to the sovereign generosity of God. The landowner in Jesus’ parable gives equal wages to the workers, regardless of when they began their labors. To the chagrin of those who commenced much earlier, the landowner asks strikingly, “Are you envious because I am generous?” How might we also need to surrender a similarly envious, possessive servant-mentality?
The radical self-gift of God represents a scandal of Christianity. God freely gives his love and grace to all those who will cooperate with his plan of redemption. We are not measured according to weights and balances and then given what we “deserve.” Indeed, we deserve nothing. Yet that does not keep God from relentlessly lavishing us with his goodness. Today, let us re-discover the glorious abundance that God offers.
Grace: An intimate knowledge of the many blessings received, that filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty.
Reflection: In the meditation upon sin, we made reference to Dante’s vision of hell, a cold, desolate place where the fire of love has been extinguished and all lies in a spiritual torpor. This is the perfect image of the heart grown cold to the stirrings of love which God places within it. At the opposite end of Dante’s journey lies a vision that perfectly encapsulates the final meditation of the Spiritual Exercises, the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love. From the lowest reaches of the spiritual universe, Dante ascends to the heights of heaven, where he views “the love that moves the sun and the other stars.” At the heart of the universe lives the Trinitarian God, whose perfect love draws all being into an ordered symphony of praise. Dante feels himself drawn into this harmonic vision through the enflaming of his passions and desires. No one with eyes to see can sit impassively at the vision of God’s love. From the disordered state in which Dante had fallen at the beginning of the poem, he becomes progressively cleansed of his disordered affections through the grace of God and the intercession of Beatrice until finally he is able to pass through the heavens and stand in the presence of God. But notice that Dante only sees God’s depths after he has been interiorly transformed.