Today's Gospel: Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46 To me, this reading speaks about judging others. The original servants did not obey the master, even to the point of murdering his son. This gospel reading is rich with meaning, but what strikes me is that those who were not originally his workers will “give him the produce at the proper times” and “the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.” As a cradle Catholic who has been blessed with a family that has retained the faith, I have many graces that should make me “productive” for the Lord. It’s easy, though, to forget my Master and think of my selfish needs and forsaking my responsibilities to the Church and my community. I can forsake my duties in the name of “I’m too busy” or “I’m not the right person to minister to that person” or the range of other excuses and selfishness that can prevent me from being productive. I can also easily forget to pray or “be too tired” to give God His due. It is quite possible people who I perceive as being less worthy, even subliminally (those little thoughts like, “well at least I don’t dress like that," or, "at least I don’t stay home to watch a football game") - those people may inherit the Kingdom of God before me. Am I like a Pharisee? If I answered no, immediately I would be in serious trouble. I think it’s possible we all have a little part of the Pharisees in us- as it can be human nature. Early Christians struggled with judging others too - “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Whether it’s the judgment we have in the “Mommy Wars” or our judgement of the religious fervor and intentions of others, I hope, with God’s help and yours that we can focus on being more productive in the virtues of our faith and recognize the Master’s Son and give Him His proper due and welcome.


How do you identify with this reading? Are you a servant or a Pharisee in some aspect of your life?


Lord, I know You have given me many graces. Let me focus on using those graces and not judging others or envying their graces, so that we may bring about Your Kingdom together. Amen.
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