A reflection on Isa 55:6-9, Ps 145:2-3,8-9,17-18(18a), Phil 1:20c-24, 27a and Mt 20:1-16a
By Bro. Errol Salcedo, CJM
“Why are you envious when I am generous?” (Mt. 20:15)
Envy is horrible – it is one of the seven capital sins. An envious person does not appreciate the gifts … and never recognizes the Giver of gifts. The characters in the gospel are envious not because they do not receive anything but because they want more. They are not satisfied of what they received.
Upon reflecting on the gospel for today (Mt. 20:1-16a), we are invited to be grateful of our blessings rather that to get envy of the blessings of others. St. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians (Phil 1:20c-24, 27a), reminds us that that we should not hold on to the things of this world but we should live and die with Christ, the ultimate gift of God the Father here on earth. We just need to be open to and trust in God. St. Paul said, “For me, living is for Christ, and dying [for Christ] is even better.” This should be the life of the followers of Christ, a life that is allowed to grow and be nurtured by the living Spirit of God. St. Thomas says, “Grace abounds in nature.” It is by awareness that we can fully realize the beauty of life and graces that we shared from God. For instance, our intention to celebrate the Eucharist this Sunday, though it is online, is grace by itself. God is present in us whatever state of life we are in right now. Our religious experiences are the visible signs of the invisible Grace.
Thus, the invitation of the Lord is “to come and share in His divine life,” a state that we meet Him and nourish our life. Christian life is always a life of thanksgiving because our loving God always showers us with his generous blessings. During this pandemic, we might only see the negative things that happens to us and around us, how about counting the blessings that God showers us? Christians are vulnerable to trials and difficulties in life, but we are able to surpass it because we always have hope and trust in God who never abandons us. He showers us the grace that we need. (2 Cor 12:9) The book of the prophet Isaiah assures us that “Yahweh is merciful and generous in forgiving to His people.” (Isa 55:7)
Therefore, the questions for everybody now are:
Are we grateful enough?
What are the blessings that we are grateful of this week?
John Eudes, our founder once said, “Gratitude is the memory of the heart.” A grateful person always recognizes and remembers the Giver, and that person is always willing to share because that person knows the beauty when others will also be nourished by it.