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First Reading: Isaiah 55:6-9
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18
Second Reading: Philippians 1:20c-24, 27a
Gospel Reading: Matthew 20:1-16a
Reflection: In today’s Responsorial Psalm we responded, “The Lord is near to all who call upon him.” Delving in my own life experiences, I have found myself in many challenging situations, which I never thought I would come out safely. In those situations, I could not see (or I barely saw) the light at the end of tunnel and I thought to be defeated. Using my own skills and intellect, I could not come up with clear answers to resolve those challenging situations. As a person who has always depended on the power of God, I have always called the helped from Him to help me and guide me. It is my testimony
that God in his own way has always provided me with comforting answers. I truly agree with what the Psalmist shares with us in today’s Responsorial Psalm that “The Lord is near to all who call upon him.” In today’s First Reading, Isaiah the prophet writes, “Seek the LORD while he may be found, call him while is near.” It is not God who is distant
from me rather it is I who may distance myself from him either by my own ignorance, pride, my own laziness to avail myself to him or by my sinful life style. In today’s Second Reading, Paul shares his personal spiritual experience as he writes to the Philippians showing how close he is with Christ by saying, “Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For me life is Christ, and death is gain.” For Paul, Christ is the present reality in all circumstances of his life. Christ is glorified in him whether living or dead. Christ is not a separate entity but he is within him. I like the parable in today’s Gospel Reading. It is the landowner who comes to the marketplace to
invite workers to work in his vineyard. Anyone who is ready to work is invited regardless of the time of the day. This landowner who is the God of glory, pays anyone who has worked in the farm the usual daily wage so that each one is able to live. This parable, which speaks more of the kingdom of heaven, tells that our God loves and cares about
each one us. He wants us to be his. He searches about us and bring us closer to him. God does not judge us and repay us for the amount of time we have done but rather he pays and rewards us for our attitude and willingness to work for his kingdom. When we are willingness to cooperate with him and accept his invitation to walk with him, God is
going to bless us with abundance of his grace. He will never leave orphans. Jesus hastaught us what it all means to be with the Father.  He has always done the will of his Father. Coming into the world and take the human body did not separate or keep him distant from his Father. He never did anything without consulting him. We can testify this for the amount of time he spent in prayers where he was in communion with his Father. At the age twelve, separated himself from Mary and Joseph, he remained in his Father’s house (the temple). A night before his crucifixion, just after the Last Supper, Jesus spent
the whole night praying. Jesus spent 40 days of prayers and fasting prior to his public ministry. On the cross before he died, Jesus invoked the name of his Father. Truly, Jesus has confirmed to us that, “The Lord is near to all who call upon him.” Yes! Amen! Fr. Severine

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