Pondering for Sunday, November 8, 2020

Part 1 of 2

Daily Office Readings for Sunday of Proper 27: Year 2

AM Psalm 93 and 96; PM Psalm 34;
Ecclesiasticus 51:13to221 Corinthians 14:1to12Matthews 20:1to16;

“And he said to them, “You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.” So they went.” (Matthew 20:4)

These workers were the 9am hires.  They already missed the 6 O’clock call to work but even they would be paid “whatever is right.”  This seems to be the way the vineyard owner takes care of the men’s families.  He gave them dignity by letting then earn at least a portion of what they needed. Even those who join the work force much later, at 12 and at 3 and even at 5.  This land owner finds a way to not just give them what they need but invites them to be stakeholders in their own needs. The bottom line is, their families will get what they need, “whatever is right.”

Part 2 of 2

New Testament Eucharistic Readings for Sunday of Proper 27: Year A

1 Thessalonians 4:13to18  Matthew 25:1to13

“When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept.” (Matthew 25: 3 – 5)

There are a couple of things to ponder here in this Eucharistic reading from Matthew.  First, the foolish are called foolish because of their neglect in not having reserve oil for their lamps.  Likewise, the wise are called wise because they brought along a reserve supply of oil.  Secondly, the point that Matthew has Jesus to make in this parable is to stay awake.  But in the parable, they all became drowsy and slept.  This is not literally about sleep deprivation. It’s about discipleship.

Both Matthew parables for today deal with at least trying to help one’s self.  The workers hired at different times during the day were at the hiring stations.  They wanted to work.  The so-called wise bridesmaids thought ahead about what the requirements would be if they were really serious about not only being at the right place, but also about sustaining themselves if things drew out, and indeed, they did.  We too, of today, must take those first steps in not only doing what is right, but also thinking through the process and preparing for the “what-ifs” of life, and, “whatever is right.”

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John

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