SAINT Rose of Lima
She was born in Lima, in Peru. She lived a life of selflessness and devotion from an early age. She refused to marry, and became a Dominican tertiary at the age of 20. Her asceticism and her intense spiritual experiences excited the criticism of her friends and family and the suspicion of the Church authorities.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 83: 10-11
Turn your eyes, O God, our shield; and look on the face of your anointed one; one day within your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.
O God, who have prepared for those who love you good things which no eye can see, fill our hearts, we pray, with the warmth of your love, so that, loving you in all things and above all things, we may attain your promises, which surpass every human desire. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Judges 9: 6-15
All the leading men of Shechem and all Beth-millo gathered, and proclaimed Abimelech king by the terebinth of the pillar at Shechem. News of this was brought to Jotham. He came and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted aloud for them to hear: “Hear me, leaders of Shechem, that God may also hear you! One day the trees went out to anoint a king to rule over them. They said to the olive tree, ‘Be our king!’ The olive tree answered them, ‘Must I forego my oil which gives honour to gods and men, to stand swaying above the trees?’ Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come now, you be our king!’ The fig tree answered them, ‘Must I forego my sweetness, forego my excellent fruit, to stand swaying above the trees?’ Then the trees said to the vine, ‘Come now, you be our king!’ The vine answered them, ‘Must I forego my wine which cheers the heart of gods and men, to stand swaying above the trees?’ Then all the trees said to the thorn bush, ‘Come now, you be our king!’ And the thorn bush answered the trees, ‘If in all good faith you anoint me king to reign over you, then come and shelter in my shade. If not, fire will come from the thorn bush and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’”
Psalm 20 (21):2-7
R/ O Lord, your strength gives joy to the king.
Lord, your strength gives joy to the king; how your saving help makes him glad! You have granted him his heart”s desire; you have not refused the prayer of his lips.
You came to meet him with the blessings of success, you have set on his head a crown of pure gold. He asked you for life and this you have given, days that will last from age to age.
Your saving help has given him glory. You have laid upon him majesty and splendour, you have granted your blessings to him for ever. You have made him rejoice with the joy of your presence.
Gospel Acclamation: Ps 118:135
Alleluia, alleluia! Let your face shine on your servant, and teach me your decrees. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16
Jesus said to his disciples: “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner going out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard. He made an agreement with the workers for one denarius a day, and sent them to his vineyard. Going out at about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place and said to them, ‘You go to my vineyard too and I will give you a fair wage.’ So they went. At about the sixth hour and again at about the ninth hour, he went out and did the same. Then at about the eleventh hour he went out and found more men standing round, and he said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ ‘Because no one has hired us’, they answered. He said to them, ‘You go into my vineyard too.’ In the evening, the owner of the vineyard said to his bailiff, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last arrivals and ending with the first.’ So those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came forward and received one denarius each. When the first came, they expected to get more, but they too received one denarius each. They took it, but grumbled at the landowner. ‘The men who came last,’ they said, ‘have done only one hour, and you have treated them the same as us, though we have done a heavy day’s work in all the heat.’ He answered one of them and said, ‘My friend, I am not being unjust to you; did we not agree on one denarius? Take your earnings and go. I choose to pay the last comer as much as I pay you. Have I no right to do what I like with my own? Why be envious because I am generous?’ Thus the last will be first, and the first, last.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive our oblation, O Lord, by which is brought about a glorious exchange, that, by offering what you have given, we may merit to receive your very self. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 129: 7
With the Lord there is mercy; in him is plentiful redemption.
Prayer after Communion
Made partakers of Christ through these Sacraments, we humbly implore your mercy, Lord, that, conformed to his image on earth, we may merit also to be his coheirs in heaven. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Today’s parable certainly offends our democratic sensibilities as well as our awareness of the rights of workers. However, this parable is a call to contribute to the building of the Kingdom. The owner goes out at all hours of the day and is happy to welcome everyone, even those who can only work for an hour. Likewise, at the time of payment, he is generous beyond all expectations. This is how the people of Israel saw themselves as the sole beneficiaries of God’s salvation. But with Jesus, God’s offer has become universal and each of us is a worthy beneficiary, irrespective of when we respond favourably to his call.