Parish Priest’s Message

My Dear Friends,

In the history of salvation too we see the chosen people were called at different stages in their life. Samuel was called, when he was a young boy. David called in his youth. The sons of Zebedee were young when they received the invitation to join Jesus. Joan of Arc was young maiden when she was entrusted with a great mission. But, Abraham crossed his youth when he was called. Peter was an old man when he was chosen by Jesus. Saint Ambrose was called in his 40s.
The thoughts of God are not the thoughts of man. The ways of God are not the ways of man. As the heavens are higher than the earth, the ways of God are higher than the ways of man and the thoughts of God are higher than the thoughts of man. The way of God is beyond the understanding of the world; the ways of men are limited. From today's reading of the Gospel of Matthew, we learned that God does not call everybody at the same time. Some are called early in life as the early labourers were called, having received their baptism as infants. Some were called as teenagers. Some were called during their married life and others, much later in life. And some are like the labourers who were called around five o'clock; their conversion took place at the last hour, like the thief on the cross..
The parable describes the kind of things that frequently happened at certain times in Palestine. The grape harvest ripened towards the end of September, and then closes on its heels the rains came. If the harvest was not ingathered before the rains broke, then it was ruined; and so to get the harvest in was a frantic race against time. Any worker was welcome, even if he could give only one hour to the work.
The first lesson of this parable is: To have been called into God’s kingdom is a sheer act of mercy on God’s part. In Israel there were many great veteran warriors to fight with Goliath. But, God chose a young boy who was not even able to put on the armour to subdue Goliath. When God chose a simple maiden, Mary, to be the mother of Jesus, there were many young women of respectable genealogy, who were hoping to be called by God. When Jesus called the illiterate fisher man Peter, in Israel there were many learned men who wished to follow Jesus. All these show that God chooses who He wants, and when he wants. And this call is a sheer act of mercy on God’s part.
The second lesson of the parable is generosity of God. These men all did not do the same work, but they did receive the same pay.
The gift of God comes to us at the unexpected time, in an unexpected manner. Let us wait with an open heart. And, we will be able to recognize the voice of God. As Demosthenes taught, “Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.” If we wait for great opportunities, we will certainly miss many opportunities that knock at our door. “It’s the man who waits for his ship to come in who’s always missing the boat,” says an Anonymous proverb.
Robert Browning reminds us that “"All service ranks the same with God: With God, whose puppets, best and worst, are we; there is no last or first". It is not the amount of service given, but the love in which it is given which matters.’ Those who carry out the will of God with love and humility will be acceptable before the Lord. So, Jesus says, “The first will be the last and the last will be the first.” May we be able recognize our opportunities all the time.

Fr. Lawrence P.R
  (Parish Priest)